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Lufthansa staff to walk off the job today

By Nathan Morley

For the second time this year, the ground staff of flag carrier Lufthansa will walk off the job on Tuesday, affecting seven airports.

The one-day strike will affect the airports in Frankfurt and Munich, Berlin, Duesseldorf, Hamburg, Cologne-Bonn and Stuttgart.

After more than 100,000 passengers and 900 flights were affected two weeks ago, this time at least 80 percent of the planned Lufthansa flights are to be canceled, according to the company. Some flights had been canceled Monday evening.

The 25,000 Lufthansa ground employees are demanding a 12.5 percent pay rise, at least 500 euros (538 U.S. dollars) per month for a period of 12 months. They also want an inflation adjustment bonus of 3,000 euros (3,240 U.S. dollars).

Lufthansa has recently lifted its offer to a 10-percent pay rise over 12 months, which is regarded as too little, according to the trade union Verdi. “Once again, the ground workers feel that they have been left out in the cold,” said Verdi negotiator Marvin Reschinsky.

While the company was giving its pilots high double-digit pay rise with basic annual salaries of up to 270,000 euros (some 290,000 dollars), ground staff were “not even being compensated for the price increases of recent years,” Reschinsky added, stressing “That is blatantly anti-social.”

In 2022 and 2023, Germany saw high inflation rates, averaging 6.9 percent and 5.9 percent respectively. Although inflation further weakened and fell below 3 percent at the start of 2024, some employee groups are still trying to compensate for real wage losses suffered in previous years.

Already from Saturday to Monday, services by Lufthansa subsidiary Discover Airlines were disrupted by pilot strikes. In Munich and Frankfurt, individual connections were canceled, but the majority could be compensated for with rebookings.

Famagusta Gazette