Lufthansa ground staff launch fresh strike

Lufthansa technical staff have begun a three-day strike that was called 12 hours before it began

The trade union Verdi has rejected Lufthansa's latest offer as "insufficient," repeating its demands. (photo: DW)
The trade union Verdi has rejected Lufthansa's latest offer as "insufficient," repeating its demands. (photo: DW)


Technical staff began a three-day strike on Wednesday morning in a ground staff wage dispute at Germany's flagship carrier Lufthansa. 

The walkout, the latest development in a display over pay, was called just 12 hours before it began.

What we know so far

The trade union Verdi said the strike began as planned at 6:00 am (0500 GMT/UTC) although passenger flights are not expected to be affected in the latest round of strikes.

Verdi called on the employees of Lufthansa Technik, Lufthansa Aviation Training and Lufthansa Technical Training to go on a three-day work strike starting Wednesday morning.

The company has submitted an “unchanged offer" amid a dispute over wages and a one-off payment, a union spokesman said. However, since the companies on strike are in "areas remote from passengers,” flights will not be affected.

Lufthansa criticized the strike — set to last for three days and called just 12 hours before it began — as "an incomprehensible and completely inappropriate escalation." It claimed an enhanced offer had been made to the union.

"Last Thursday, Lufthansa took another big step towards the union and presented a new, even improved offer," said an airline spokesman.

Previously, Verdi has led two strikes that lasting more than a full day in the conflict, resulting in the cancellation of hundreds of flights at major German air transport hubs.

What we know about negotiations

Lufthansa's latest offer included bringing forward the first of two wage increases from December to March this year and a quicker pay-out of a €3,000 inflation compensation bonus.

But Verdi has again rejected the offer as "insufficient," repeating its demands for either a 12.5% increase or a minimum monthly increase of €500, whichever is higher.

A fifith round of talks is scheduled for March 13 and 14.

Last week, flights were cancelled amid industrial action at several major German airports as ground staff staged a strike lasting more than 27 hours.

Security staff walked out earlier in the month, demanding higher pay. More than 1,000 flights were canceled across 11 major airports on February 1, impacting over 200,000 passengers.

In January, airport ground and security staff staged strikes in Hamburg and Berlin. 

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Published: 28 Feb 2024, 2:26 PM