Lufthansa strikes again

The United Service Sector Union (Ver.di), one of Germany's largest unions, has announced that ground handling employees of German airline Lufthansa will go on a 2-day warning strike.

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According to a statement by Ver.di, since the last strike by Lufthansa Cargo and Lufthansa Technik employees, the Lufthansa Group has not offered more favorable wage offers. Therefore, Lufthansa’s ground handling employees in passenger areas will go on strike on Thursday, March 7 at 04.00 am.

The strike is scheduled to end at 07.10 on Saturday, March 9. With this 2-day strike initiative, the union is aiming for a regulation to improve the wages paid to Lufthansa’s ground handling employees.

What is the union demanding?

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

Lufthansa, on the other hand, offers a 10 percent higher salary for 28 months.

The company had criticized the continuation of the warning strikes and in particular rejected Ver.di’s preconditions for returning to the negotiating table.

Meeting in 10 days

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

The strike will be the fourth strike by Lufthansa employees in the last two months. Previously, workers in the company’s technical and cargo departments went on a three-day strike last week after the company’s wage offer remained unchanged in the fourth round of collective bargaining talks.

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

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

On the other hand, Marvin Rechinsky, who is conducting negotiations with Lufthansa on behalf of Verdi, stated that Lufthansa is expected to announce record annual profits this week and that the bonuses of board members are expected to be significantly increased, “No one wants to believe how ground service employees, whose hourly wages are sometimes 13 euros, make ends meet in the most expensive cities in Germany.”

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