Today marks the beginning of a three-day strike against german airline Eurowings orchestrated by the pilot union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC). After negotiations saw no success for either party, the union declared a walkout that would affect scheduled flights.

Path surrounded by leafless trees and yellowing grass.Eurowings Headquarters partially visible through treeline.
Failed negotiations have led to the union staging a three-day strike | © GodeNehler

‘Insufficient’ Agreement Forces Union to Take Action as Eurowings Pilots Stage Strike

The strike begins today (17th) and will last until 23:59 on October 19th. According to VC, the offer made by Eurowings during the bargaining period was ‘insufficient’ and didn’t correctly address their requests.

Some of the core demands posed by the union include a reduced workload by limiting maximum flight duty times and extending their break periods. This is to reduce the amount of the ‘considerable burden’ that falls onto the shoulders of the cockpit crew. Although the company scheduling employees to the maximum hours is not an illegal practice, VC aims to seek a more humane policy, it seems.

Matthias Baier, the spokesperson for VC, had this to say in a recent statement made by the union:

“The completely inadequate offers leave the employees no other choice than to express their dissatisfaction with the workload in their airline due to a strike and to build up pressure. We regret the considerable restrictions and consequences for the passengers and hope that the management of Eurowings will contact us as soon as possible to resolve this conflict. A must for this reasonable offer.”

This is not the first strike organised by this pilots union. Earlier this year, a strike was held by pilots working for Eurowings’ parent airline, Lufthansa. Disputes over wages and an unsuccessful negotiation led to a one-day strike that affected over 700 passengers flying from Delhi, India.

As Eurowings Pilots stage a three-day strike, it is uncertain what will happen afterwards. The group have expressed that they are open to further talks, as this is a matter that they feel needs to be addressed and dealt with in the best possible way for staff. Chairman of negotiations Marcel Gröls implied that the decision for continued talks rests in the hands of Eurowings in a recent statement:

“What we need now is progress on the question of how the workload of pilots can be regulated in a sustainable and sustainable manner. We have shown our willingness to find solutions many times and expect the same from Eurowings.”

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