Lufthansa Group faces pilot strike at two carriers as Eurowings crews add pressure | New

German group Lufthansa faces a one-day strike by pilots at two carriers after a failed collective bargaining agreement, while flight crews at sister airline Eurowings have exerted additional pressure on the parent company .

Lufthansa and Lufthansa Cargo pilots have called a 24-hour strike for September 2.

The industrial action follows recent attempts to negotiate an agreement with the pilots’ union Vereinigung Cockpit.

Lufthansa must present a significantly improved offer in order to avoid labor disputes,” says the union’s collective bargaining policy chairman, Marcel Grols.

“We are too far apart at the moment.”

The union claims that the Lufthansa group took the opportunity to negotiate but did not improve its offer.

“So the only thing left for us to do is pursue our demands through a labor dispute,” Grols says, adding that the pilots are asking for wage compensation and a “future-proof” compensation structure for “ all occupational groups.

Lufthansa says it will do “everything possible” to limit the impact of the strike, and human resources director Michael Niggemann says the company has “no understanding” of the union’s strike call.

Niggemann insists the company has come up with a “very good and socially balanced offer”, despite the continued impact of the pandemic crisis.

The Lufthansa Group says its 18-month deal would provide additional basic monthly pay for pilots. The talks also included discussions on an agreement guaranteeing a minimum fleet size for Lufthansa and Lufthansa Cargo.

But he says the union is demanding an initial wage increase of 5.5% by the end of the year, plus compensation above inflation from the start of 2023. Lufthansa believes this will increase the costs of flight deck personnel by 16% over two years.

Lufthansa Group also says the union is asking for pay benefits ‘beyond justification’ and says the global demands would increase cockpit costs by around 900 million euros, or more than 40%, over the course of the year. two-year period.

Eurowings pilots have taken their own industrial action by voting to continue to follow the current path of collective bargaining.

Eurowings Airbus-c-Eurowings

Although this was not a vote in favor of the strike, the strong support in the poll – with almost 98% in favor, out of a turnout of almost 90% – demonstrates solidarity towards the objectives. of the bargaining committee in the talks on a new contract.

Grols says the Eurowings vote is a “signal” amounting to a “yellow card” for the airline.

“It’s not enough to just sit at the negotiating table,” he says. “You also have to be ready to find a solution.”

He says demands from Eurowings pilots focus on “urgently needed relief” on issues such as maximum flight duty time and rest periods.

Grols says, “We want working hours that allow for a minimum of planning for a family life.

He argues that pilots are concerned that the maximum workload – while staying within the authorized limits – is not considered the “permanent” level of “daily flying”.

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