The Cargo pilots from the German airline Lufthansa are joining the strike on Friday, 2 September. The announcement of Lufthansa’s employees’ strike came after the pilots from Eurowings (a subsidiary of Lufthansa) voted positively for joining the strike. This decision will affect the Lufthansa Cargo subsidiary as well, and as a result, it might cause inconveniences and disruptions in the supply chain. Lufthansa Group already canceled 800 flights on this date.
The strike comes after failure in the negotiations between the pilots’ union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) and the airline regarding a wage dispute. The strike will affect 130,000 passengers and might cause delays and cancellations on Saturday and Sunday as well, during a period when a lot of Europeans are returning from holiday destinations.
The VC union that represents 9,600 pilots is expecting a 5.5% rise in wages for over 5,000 pilots and inflation adjustments for 2023. On the other hand, Lufthansa offered a two-stage increase of €900 in a period of 18 months for all pilots, which would be especially beneficial for new pilots (18% increase) and up to 5% for experienced pilots.
As said by Lufthansa AG’s chief officer for human resources Michael Niggemann, “We have no understanding for the VC’s call to strike whatsoever. The employer side made a very good and socially balanced offer — despite the continuing burdens of the coronavirus crisis and the uncertain prospects for the global economy,”, also adding that this strike comes at a cost to Lufthansa’s thousands of customers. Lufthansa also added in a statement that the company is willing and is prepared to provide its employees significant increases in wages and is available to continue the negotiations at any time.
As a result of strikes and employee shortages, the company canceled thousands of flights during the summer period. It is expected that Lufthansa will be able to reduce the impact of the strike by partner carriers and efficient management solutions. Other carriers in Europe will also be able to absorb the demand, such as Air France or Cargolux.