Lufthansa’s ground workers, via a statement released today, announced that they would prepare for a one-day strike this Wednesday over pay. 

The workers are seeking a 9.5% increase in pay. 

In an already chaotic summer season, the strike threatens to disrupt operations for the carrier. 

More strikes to contend with 

The strike will involve Lufthansa ground workers in various positions, but mainly those working in aircraft maintenance. All workers taking part in the strike are very instrumental to the normal functioning of the airport, leading the union leading the strikes (Verdi, stylised as ver.di) to anticipate that “there will be many cancellations and delays.” 

The strike will affect German international airports Frankfurt, Berlin and Duesseldorf and will last from 3:45 am on Wednesday until 6 am local time on Thursday. 

This comes as the German national carrier had to cut 3,000 flights from its regular schedule over the summer due to staff shortages and strikes. The cuts also affected subsidiary airline Eurowings.

Lufthansa
Lufthansa is Germany’s largest airline and the second largest airline in Europe in terms of the number of passengers carried. | © Reuters

Deputy chief of German trade union ver.di, Christine Behle, commented on the motivation behind moving forward with strike action:

“The situation at airports is deteriorating and employees are increasingly under pressure and overworked due to severe staff shortages, high inflation and the absence of raises for three years.” 

Union ver.di demanded a 9.5% pay rise (or at least 350 euros per month for 12 months) for around 20,000 Lufthansa ground staff last month. 

Lufthansa countered by offering an increase of 150 euros per month for the rest of this year, another 100 euros from the start of 2023, and a 2% increase from the middle of next year – depending on the German company’s financial status at that time, however. 

The union rejected the offer, citing its insufficiency in light of soaring inflation. 

Behle explained that these workers “urgently need more money, and they need relief – for themselves and for the passengers.” 

The Lufthansa Group commented on the matter, calling it “incomprehensible”, and stressed that it would be a burden on passengers and staff. 

More negotiations between ver.di and Lufthansa are to take place from 3-4 August. It’ll be the third round of wage negotiations between the two parties. 

What are your thoughts on the latest round of strikes Lufthansa have to handle? Share your thoughts in the comments below. 

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