Lufthansa’s 48 hour cabin crew walkout has begun. From midnight last night, members of the UFO cabin crew union have been on strike in a disagreement over pay. As a result, Lufthansa has been forced to cancel 700 flights.
The UFO cabin crew union first announced that it was planning strikes towards the beginning of October. While strikes planned for a Sunday in mid-October was called off, passengers this time around aren’t so lucky. Lufthansa has been forced to cancel hundreds of flights, inconveniencing thousands of passengers due to travel.
The current strike of Lufthansa staff is driven by a disagreement over rates of pay. The UFO union is campaigning for a 1.8% rise in pay for Lufthansa’s cabin crew. However, the union is also campaigning for a pay rise for other Lufthansa group airline colleagues within Germany. These other airlines include the likes of Germanwings, Eurowings, and Sun Express.
The whole matter is complicated due to the fact that Lufthansa has been claiming that the UFO cabin crew union is not qualified to represent cabin crew. As such, the airline attempted to gain an injunction against the strike action yesterday at the Frankfurt Labour Court.
However, the court ruled they the strike by UFO members was ‘not unlawful’. As a result, a Lufthansa representative yesterday told Simple Flying that the airline would appeal the ruling at the Hessian Labour Court.
The impact of the strike
According to Lufthansa, the airline has been forced to cancel 700 flights today as a result of the cabin crew strikes. This accounts for around 23% of all of today’s flights. Lufthansa issued a revised timetable yesterday canceling 1,300 flights across the two days.
Passengers due to fly today and tomorrow have been able to rebook their travel for free. This is regardless of whether they are affected or not. If non-affected passengers rebook, affected passengers can take their space.
Additionally, passengers due to travel on domestic flights have the option of trading their flight ticket for a long-distance train ticket. However, some passengers have commented that they’d rather take the risk of making their flight than a 5-hour train journey.
Last night Lufthansa’s CEO, Carsten Spohr, invited union leaders to an emergency meeting at 18:00 in Frankfurt. Following the meeting he commented:
“After the constructive and successful top-level discussion with Verdi and CU, we now see ourselves in the position to enter into talks with all three groups. In the interest of our customers and employees, this explicitly includes talks with Ufo – with the aim to agree on the arbitration offered by Ufo yesterday.”
Have you been affected by the Lufthansa strike? Share your experience with us in the comments section.