BERLIN – Last Friday, Lufthansa flight attendants held the biggest strike ever to happen to the German airline company. The strike, coinciding with the end of the summer holidays in the south of Germany, caused many cancellations in the afternoon. Due to the fact that a thousand flights were canceled, the company promised to do all they can to make sure that operations get back to normal the following day.
Faced with the threat of further strikes until Thursday of next week, Lufthansa announced that it would negotiate with the German Union of Flight Attendants (UFO), an organization that represents the workers.
Lufthansa flight attendants are asking for a wage increase of 5% over the next year and that the company gets rid of its temporary contract policy. Additionally, they are asking that all Lufthansa employees, air and ground staff, are also granted competitive benefit plans. However, the company only proposed for a salary increase of 3.5% plus benefit plans. They reiterated that Lufthansa Flight attendants are the top earners compared to other airlines.
“I hope that tomorrow everything is back to normal,” Lufthansa director Klühr Thomas told the newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung. “Thanks to the emergency plan, all aircrafts should be able to reach their destinations.” he added.
Despite the unprecedented strike that affected some 100,000 passengers, there are no reports of trouble in the Frankfurt and Munich airports. If anything, all that was reported were long lines of passengers at the check-in counters in Lufthansa counters.
According to calculations made by German media, should the flight attendants continue with the strike, Lufthansa could suffer losses of up to €10 million.
However, the head of UFO Nicoley Baublies, said he had no plans for further action after Friday, “we expect that this should make a full stop,” he said.
His words were interpreted as a sign that negotiations could yield favorable results for both parties sometime between tonight and the next few days.