Lufthansa ground employees hit more than 9.5% of payment claims

The planes of German airline Lufthansa are photographed on the day of the company’s annual general meeting at Frankfurt Airport, Germany, May 4, 2021. REUTERS / Kai Waffenbach

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BERLIN (Reuters) – Workers on the ground at Deutsche Lufthansa (LHAG.DE) are organizing a one-day strike on Wednesday to seek 9.5% of their salary, adding to travel disruption during the busy summer travel season.

Strikes and staff shortages have already forced airlines including Lufthansa to cancel thousands of flights and cause hours-long queues at major airports, frustrating holidaymakers wanting to fly after the COVID-19-related shutdowns. Read more

Labor union Verdi said a strike by staff at Lufthansa’s ground units on Wednesday would lead to more cancellations and delays, as it includes workers with key jobs such as aircraft maintenance, and moving planes away from the boarding gates so they can head to the runway. Take off.

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Lufthansa said the withdrawal was “incomprehensible” and would be a burden on both passengers and staff after the end of the strike.

The strike will affect German airports including Frankfurt, Dusseldorf and Berlin, and will start from 3.45 am (0145 GMT) on Wednesday until 6 am (0400 GMT) on Thursday.

Verdi last month demanded a 9.5 percent pay rise, or at least 350 euros ($368) per month for 12 months, for about 20,000 workers it says are under pressure due to inflation and are stretched by understaffing at airports.

Lufthansa offered an increase of 150 euros per month for the rest of this year and another 100 euros from the beginning of 2023, as well as a 2% increase from mid-2023 depending on the company’s financial results.

Verdi rejected the offer, saying it was not enough to offset soaring inflation, which reached 8.2 percent in Germany in June.

Workers “urgently need more money and need relief – for themselves and the passengers,” Verdi Vice Chairman Kristen Beehl said in a statement on Monday.

Verdi and Lufthansa have held two rounds of wage negotiations so far. A third is scheduled for 3 and 4 August.

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(Maria Sheehan reports). Additional reporting by Susanna Szymanska. Editing by Rachel Moore and David Holmes

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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