Lufthansa Reaches A Ceasefire With The UFO Cabin Crew Union

Following 48 hours of strike action last week, Lufthansa has reached a ceasefire with the UFO cabin crew union. According to a German-language press release from Lufthansa, no further strikes will occur while talks are ongoing between the two parties.

Lufthansa, UFO Union, ceasefire
A ceasefire has been agreed between Lufthansa and the UFO cabin crew union. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

Thursday and Friday last week saw Lufthansa flight attendants represented by the UFO cabin crew union staged a 48-hour walkout. The strike led to around 1,300 canceled flights across the two days. While Lufthansa hasn’t previously recognized the UFO union in its current form, the strikes must have pushed some buttons as Lufthansa is now in negotiations with the union.

Why were cabin crew striking?

Lufthansa cabin crew represented by the UFO cabin crew union were striking on Thursday and Friday due to a disagreement over pay. The union was calling for a 1.8% pay rise for cabin crew members at a time of record profits for Lufthansa.

While this was going on, Lufthansa is currently taking the UFO union to the Hessian State Labour Court. Toward the start of October, Lufthansa told Simple Flying,

“We have the question of whether UFO currently fulfills the characteristics of a trade union in a so-called “Statusverfahren” (Court Case that defines the status of the union) before the Hessian State Labour Court.”

Lufthansa, UFO Union, ceasefire
Strikes led to 48 hours of disruption last week. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

What has been agreed?

Lufthansa appears to have reached a temporary compromise with the UFO union. However, the airline will not be publishing the relevant press release in English, so something may have been lost in translation.

So far, Lufthansa has agreed on a temporary compensation package for employees on a collective agreement seasonal model. These employees will be granted a €1,600 allowance of compensation as they may be working less in the winter than in the summer. Lufthansa will also work to change the model by the summer of 2020.

Lufthansa, UFO Union, ceasefire
No more strikes will take place while the two sides remain in mediation. Photo: Lufthansa

A peace obligation

According to a separate press release, also in German, Lufthansa and the UFO cabin crew union have reached a peace obligation. As a result, strikes will not occur until further notice. The two will continue a dialogue to try and reach an agreement in mediation.

The majority of what has been discussed remains under wraps, however, Lufthansa will be holding a joint press conference regarding the talks at their Frankfurt headquarters on Thursday. It is not clear whether the talks so far have also addressed Lufthansa’s legal action against the UFO. But, if things go to plan for both sides, there should be no more strikes.

Bettina Volkens of Lufthansa commented:

“The mediation is the right way to the urgent concerns of our employees in the cabin now to tackle all involved and restore confidence. That it now there will be no further strikes at Lufthansa, is good news for our guests.”

Are you glad that Lufthansa has agreed on a ceasefire with the union? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.