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Global Economy

Ver.di calls for a Lufthansa warning strike

The service trade union ver.di has called on around 20,000 Lufthansa ground workers nationwide to go on a one-day warning strike. The walkout begins Wednesday morning at 3:45 a.m. and ends at 6 a.m. on Thursday, the union said.

The employees of Lufthansa AG Boden, Lufthansa Technik, Lufthansa Cargo and other subsidiaries of the group at all Lufthansa locations, i.e. in Frankfurt am Main, Düsseldorf, Cologne, Hamburg, Munich and Berlin, are invited. Ground staff include technicians and logisticians, without whose services the aircraft cannot take off.

Ver.di demands 9.5 percent more wages

The reason for this is the faltering wage negotiations. No result was reached in the second round of collective bargaining in mid-July. Ver.di had rejected an initial offer from Lufthansa as "insufficient". According to union information, the company had offered fixed amounts and a result-related component for a period of 18 months during the negotiations in Hamburg. The union demands 9.5 percent more money for a twelve-month term.

Lufthansa described the planned walkout as "unreasonable" for customers and employees. The plans could hardly be described as a warning strike, said HR Director Michael Niggemann, according to a statement. "This is all the more incomprehensible as employers have already offered high and socially balanced pay increases – despite the continued tense economic situation for Lufthansa after the Corona crisis, high debt burdens and uncertain prospects for the global economy."

Ver.di negotiator Christine Behle had stated that the situation at the airports was escalating; the overburdening of employees due to a significant shortage of staff, high inflation and a three-year wage cut put the employees under increasing pressure: "They urgently need more money and they need relief – for themselves and for the passengers."

Negotiations are scheduled to continue on August 3rd and 4th in Frankfurt am Main. Ver.di demanded a "significantly improved, final offer" from the employers.

Criticism from the employers' association

The Confederation of German Employers' Associations considers the announced warning strike to be disproportionate. "Here, people's understandable holiday desire is shamelessly exploited to gain an advantage," explained Managing Director Steffen Kampeter. In these days of diverse crises, cooperation is the order of the day.

Ver.di is therefore asked to refrain from the planned strike among Lufthansa ground staff and to return to the negotiating table.

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