Lufthansa ground handling staff to go on 3-day strike

Ground handling workers at German airline Lufthansa are to go on another warning strike after a fourth round of collective bargaining talks failed to reach an agreement.

3 mins read
Lufthansa ground handling staff to go on 3-day strike

According to a statement by the United Service Sector Union (Verdi), the 3-day strike was called after the company’s wage offer remained unchanged during the fourth round of collective bargaining with Lufthansa.

The warning strike will start on February 28 and end on March 1, the statement said.

With this 3-day strike initiative, the union is aiming for an arrangement to improve the wages paid to Lufthansa’s ground handling staff.

The union is demanding a 12.5 percent wage increase for ground handling staff, with a minimum of 500 euros, in addition to a one-time bonus of 3,000 euros to compensate for high inflation.

While Lufthansa management made another improved offer, which included moving the first of two wage increases from December 2024 to March 2024 and faster payment of the 3,000-euro inflation compensation bonus, the union rejected the company’s offer as insufficient.

Marvin Rechinsky, who is leading the negotiations with Lufthansa on behalf of the union, stated that they have once again emphasized their demand for a quick end to the collective bargaining dispute, “Lufthansa has not yet accepted this. As a first step, we are consciously responding to the employers’ delay in a way that passengers will not be affected. However, we regret that if this irresponsible behavior of Lufthansa continues, passengers will soon be affected by the strike again. It is up to Lufthansa to prevent this.”

The fifth round of collective bargaining is scheduled for March 13 and 14.

Hundreds of thousands of passengers affected by previous strikes

Ground handling staff at Lufthansa went on warning strikes on February 7 and February 20, with the airline canceling most flights and hundreds of thousands of passengers affected.

The planned 3-day strike by Lufthansa’s ground handling staff comes as disputes between employers and unions over wages and working conditions continue in Germany.

Employees of Germany’s public transport companies, including German Railways, have recently been striking over wage increases and working conditions.

In a country where “warning strikes” are often used as a bargaining tactic, negotiations are expected to be difficult for unions as employers face rising costs.

Meanwhile, the German Central Bank (Bundesbank) cited the work stoppages as one of the potential factors for the country’s GDP to shrink by 0.3 percent in 2023.

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