Status: 07/27/2022 5:39 p.m.
The Lufthansa ground staff strike has partially paralyzed German air traffic. In the middle of the holiday season, thousands of stranded customers worry about replacement flights. The ver.di union hopes to be able to settle the wage dispute next week.
In the middle of the holiday season, the ver.di union paralyzed air traffic at Lufthansa with a warning strike by ground staff. After more than 1,000 flights were canceled, almost nothing worked at the Frankfurt and Munich hubs, and around 134,000 passengers had to change their travel plans.
According to ver.di, around 5,000 employees took part in the campaign and demonstrated for higher wages, while many passengers in the terminals feared for their flight options. In Frankfurt, long queues of mostly foreign passengers formed in front of sparsely populated booking change counters in the morning.
Booking changes are difficult
According to a Lufthansa spokeswoman, customers were offered different solutions depending on the destination of the flight. Additional staff was planned for this task, which remained manageable.
In principle, passengers can be rebooked on later flights from Lufthansa or other airlines, although free seats are generally rare. In individual cases, people may also have to wait several days before continuing their journey, a Lufthansa spokesperson said.
“The situation is extremely tense”, Michael Immel, HR, on flights canceled due to strikes at Lufthansa
Tagesschau 12:00 p.m., 27.7.2022
A deal could be in place next week
Ver.di and Lufthansa blamed each other for the situation. The company deliberately refrained from bargaining again after the announcement of the warning strike, ver.di strike leader Marvin Reschinsky said. He now hopes for a quick and good result.
“We clearly expect Lufthansa to pick up the pace next week so that air traffic can work again,” Reschinsky said. A high degree is also a sign of relief for existing staff when Lufthansa offers more attractive jobs to newcomers.
Human Resources Director Michael Niggemann received a shoutout from the Lufthansa administration when he told protesting ver.di trade unionists: “I think this warning strike is totally unreasonable.” His expressions of respect for the work of the employees were sometimes met with mocking laughter, and the mood heated up.
No more strikes yet
Already there morning magazine common to ARD and ZDF ver.di negotiator Christine Behle said there would be no more ground staff strikes until the next negotiation date on August 3: “I can rule that out”.
ver.di had rejected an initial offer deemed too low. The union is demanding 9.5% more salary, but at least 350 euros. The parties have given themselves two days for the talks, which alone indicates a certain will to conclude.
Either way, a ballot is underway among Lufthansa pilots in the Cockpit Association (VC), which would make indefinite strikes possible from August. The ver.di strike started in the morning and is expected to last until Thursday, 6 am. Lufthansa fears effects until Friday, the last school day before the summer holidays in Bavaria. However, there were already no more flight cancellations scheduled for Thursday, Lufthansa pointed out.
Dispatch chaos escalates
The first strike at Lufthansa after the Corona shock comes against the background of a partially chaotic restart in the industry. Staff bottlenecks and high holiday demand have already led to considerable processing problems this summer without any strikes. Ver.di mainly blames the mismanagement of airports and airlines for this.