Verdi announces up to 20,000 Lufthansa ground staff to strike this Wednesday

©Lufthansa

German union Verdi, which is representing approximately 20,000 Lufthansa ground staff, has called on them to strike for one day on Wednesday to add leverage to ongoing salary negotiations. The peak season planned walk out will last from 3.45 a.m. until 6.00 a m. on the Thursday following. The German airline has yet to confirm how many flights will be affected by what it has called an “unreasonable” walkout.

Lufthansa believes that the offer made to the ground staff offered a socially high and balanced increase. The carrier is also reluctant to increase pay further while it is facing tense financial times owing to the pandemic, high debt burdens and an uncertain global economy.

The ground crew members included in the walkout are logistics workers and technicians without whom planes will be unable to take off. Currently Verdi is looking for a 9.5% pay increase for its members and will be returning to the negotiating table on August 3-4. Christine Behle, negotiating on behalf of the ground staff commented that in view of the workload, high inflation and a wage sacrifice during the pandemic, significant wage increases are justified.

The news of the walkout adds to Lufthansa’s troubles, having already had to cancel thousands of flights to and from Frankfurt and Munich this year owing to problems with a combination of increased demand and a severe shortage of staff.

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