UFO Demands Mediation With Lufthansa Following More Strikes

The UFO cabin crew union will not go on strike for 10 days as it requests mediation with Lufthansa. The group held a three-day strike in the run-up to New Years. This was the third strike of the current dispute.

Lufthansa, UFO Union, Strikes
The UFO cabin crew union will not strike in the next 10 days. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

Cabin crew belonging to the UFO flight attendant union are currently embattled in a dispute with their employer, Lufthansa. However, the issues spread beyond just Lufthansa. Other German Lufthansa subsidiaries such as Eurowings and Germanwings are also affected. This has seen the union hold three strikes to date. However, when the strike action first started, matters were complicated by Lufthansa not recognizing the legality of the union.

Some background

The dispute between the UFO flight attendant union and Lufthansa has been ongoing for quite some time. In fact, depending on the subsidiary involved, strike action goes back as far as 2016. It seems as though that original issue is unresolved, as it remains in the UFO’s demands.

The most recent batch of industrial action was announced at a time when Lufthansa was seeking to challenge the UFO in court. In October the airline told Simple Flying,

“Lufthansa continues to believe that the union UFO in its current state is not entitled to represent Lufthansa Staff nor participate in collective bargaining.”

Germany, Air Traffic, Passenger Numbers
The union has so far endured three strikes. Photo: Getty Images

It went on to add,

“Strikes would, therefore, be illegal from Lufthansa’s point of view. We have the question of whether UFO currently fulfils 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.”

So what’s the latest?

According to the union in question, up until now, arbitration has failed to solve the dispute with the airline. As a result, the union is now calling for mediation talks to begin on the 16th of January. In the 10 days leading up to this date, the union has said there will be no strikes. However, at this point in time strikes are still on the cards in the future, depending on what happens now.

Getty / Lufthansa
Will the issue finally be resolved? For the time being, we will have to wait and see. Photo: Getty Images

Lufthansa is happy to hold further talks with the union from the 16th of January. In a statement to Simple Flying, the airline said,

“We are pleased that the date of 16 January has been confirmed by Ufo for further discussions. Lufthansa continues to expect good solutions and prospects for the approximately 22,000 cabin crew members. Our goal, therefore, remains agreeing on an arbitration with Ufo.”

What do you make of the strikes? Do you agree with the workers, or do you want flight disruption to end? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!