After a crippling strike disrupted operations last week, Lufthansa and the union representing its ground staff have agreed in principle on a new contract.
Lufthansa, Ground Staff Union Agree In Principle On Three-Step Pay Raise To Avoid Future Strikes
Lufthansa struck a very harsh public tone against ver.di, blaming the union for its “untimely” industrial action which “ruined the travel plans” of hundreds of thousands of passengers. Although the so-called “warning strike” lasted only one day, Lufthansa had to cancel flights the day before and day after as a result. Over 134,000 passengers were stranded.
Ver.di insisted that Lufthansa’s offer to lift wages for all ground staff was not good enough due to rising inflation. Lufthansa insisted that it too was adversely impacted by inflation with higher costs. But Lufthansa just reported a strong cashflow and second quarter profit of €393 million. Under the backdrop of profit, a deal was struck that was still a compromise, but closer to what the union had initially proposed.
Lufthansa ground staff will see an immediate increase in wages and further increases in two subsequent steps. Based upon seniority, workers will see an extra €377-498 per month (up to 18.4% for some lower wage workers) in their gross paycheck, starting with €200 now, another 2.5% on January 23, 2023 and a third 2.5% raise on July 1, 2023.
The deal will expire on December 31, 2023 and is subject to member ratification.
Christine Behle, ver.di’s chief negotiator, noted:
“It was important to us to achieve this real balance in order to secure employees in this difficult economic situation.”
Even with this deal struck, Lufthansa is not out of the woods yet. It has yet to ink a deal with its pilots, which have already authorized a strike.
Lufthansa has cut a deal with its ground staff, agreeing in principle to a three-step pay raise that will carry the work group through the end of 2023. Speaking personally, the European model seems to be to balk, then strike, then compromise. I’m not a fan, but I’m happy for the quality of life most workers enjoy. Hopefully Lufthansa can cut a deal with its other work groups to avoid further strikes.