Why Lufthansa Strikes Are Coming To An End

Lufthansa employees have conducted strikes several times; however, that is coming to an end following a new agreement being reached.

Lufthansa Group has been impacted by strike action for a significant period now, with ground staff specifically walking out of the job on several occasions.

The labour union Verdi, representing these workers, had been demanding a better wage to accommodate its staff’s higher cost of living.

The requested wage increase was around 12% and would include 25,000 workers. There would also be an inflation compensation bonus of around USD 3,250.

Lufthansa had rejected terms on multiple occasions and only offered as high as 10%, which is viewed as an insult by Verdi and the Lufthansa Group employees. The 10% is just shy of the 12% request.

Now, however, Lufthansa and Verdi have reached a wage deal that’ll not only remove any strikes that were expected across the busy Easter holiday travel season but also allow employees to feel fairly compensated.

Lufthansa says they’re satisfied with the outcome and believe a reasonable compromise was made with a significant wage increase.

Strike Action Impacts The Airline

For Lufthansa, the strike action undertaken by ground staff saw thousands of flights cancelled on multiple occasions. This is ultimately a worst-case scenario for the airline, whose network would halt with the considerable knock-on effect from the cancellations.

While the ground staff’s position is significantly underpaid in some regions, their role in getting the plane in the air is hugely important. In some cases, the importance and manual labour involved are often ignored, and as a result, employees can be unfairly compensated.

Workers at Lufthansa had been resorting to strike action to attempt to fight for better conditions, and now, many months later, they’ve been able to secure something that all parties can agree on.

Rising Costs For Airlines

While Lufthansa Group has now settled this matter, its wage bill will increase in future quarters and especially for a full-year financial year.

The airline group, however, is hardly the only company to see significant rises. Now, wages are the most expensive outgoing for several other airlines around the world.

In North America, 2023 represented an important year for workers across the United States and Canada in securing better contracts for their work.

However, due to these several new labour agreements being reached, airline bills, including those of major companies such as Air Canada, increased substantially to reflect better employee pay.

For airlines that are not paying their workers at the level they wish, this presents a trying period as multiple parties work towards achieving a mutually agreed-upon rate.

However, progress is hardly completed overnight, and in some cases, such as Lufthansa, it can result in strike action, operational losses, and several other problems.

Daniel Fowkes
31 Mar 2024
· Airlines 

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