- There will likely be more than 100,000 passengers on Lufthansa flights impacted by the Verdi Union’s called strike.
- On Wednesday, 7 February, 25,000 ground staff members are being told to walk out for 27 hours, which will significantly disrupt Lufthansa flights operations.
- The Verdi Union claims that the strike is the outcome of unhappiness with Lufthansa’s “inadequate offer” regarding improvements to wages and conditions.
Over 100,000 Lufthansa flights passengers could be impacted by the strike action that a union representing Lufthansa ground personnel called for on Wednesday. Less than a week has passed since the security screening workers’ strike grounded flights at numerous important German airports.
Whether it’s because of bad weather or strikes, German aviation is already experiencing a difficult start to the year as February approaches. Based on the most recent revelation from the Verdi Union, it appears that travelers’ suffering is only going to become worse.
Massive impact on Lufthansa flights operations:
On Wednesday, it appears that there will be a significant disruption to Lufthansa flights operations. Cirium’s flight schedule data shows that Lufthansa had 161,485 seats available on all of its scheduled Wednesday flights. A substantial number of flights would likely be impacted, causing over 100,000 passengers as the potential impact.
The warning strike, according to Verdi, will start on Wednesday at 4:00 and end on Thursday at 07:10. A 27-hour walkout has been mandated for around 25,000 ground staff members of Lufthansa in Frankfurt, Munich, Hamburg, Berlin, and Düsseldorf.
This will also have an impact on airlines other than Lufthansa. The Lufthansa Technik, Lufthansa Cargo, and Lufthansa Engineering & Operational Services employees are also going to be on strike.
Why is the union going on strike?
According to Verdi, Lufthansa has made “a completely inadequate offer” in terms of raising wages and improving working conditions. The airline is allegedly “unwilling to improve their first and only offer to avoid industrial action.” An analyst at Verdi named Marvin Reschinsky said,
“If Lufthansa gave ground workers the same raises as other employee groups in the group, this strike wouldn’t be required. At the negotiation table, though, there was no desire to do this. Therefore, we’re hoping that the passengers will understand. The employees are ready to go on longer strikes if Lufthansa does not recognize this following this initial warning strike.”
Lufthansa has offered the affected employees the following options:
• A bonus for inflation adjustment payable on March 1st and June 1st, worth €1,000–1,500 ($1,079–1,619).
• A September 1st basic compensation rise of €200.
• A 3% rise in base pay starting on April 1st, 2025.
• A rise in base pay of 2.5% starting on April 1, 2026.
• An extra $3000 set aside for perks.
Dr. Michael Niggemann, a board member, labour director, and human resources officer, made the following statement on behalf of the airline:
“We want to and must be a dependable partner for our clients, working together to create positive and long-term solutions, particularly during difficult times. These can only be accomplished at the bargaining table. Unfortunately, I cannot accept Verdi’s admission of responsibility: even before the actual negotiations begin, the union declared a warning strike today, which would impose an undue hardship on our guests and employees.”
How will passengers be affected?
The effect on passengers is yet unclear, as flights with the bare minimum timetable may still be able to operate. Although the airline claimed to be working on a “special flight plan,” it is highly likely that there will be severe cancellations considering the number of people affected.
According to the Current Travel Information that Lufthansa has posted on their website, they currently estimate that between 10 and 20 percent of the Lufthansa Flights schedule will be feasible on February 7. Due to the Verdi strike, passengers who have flights cancelled will be notified via email or the Lufthansa app.
Additionally, it states, “Please do not come to the airport unless your flight has been cancelled. Unfortunately, there is no staff at the rebooking counters because of the strike. Kindly take note of the information provided in the “Rebooking” section. If your flight was cancelled due to the strike, you can reschedule it for free on lufthansa.com, through the customer app, or through the service centres. You can use lufthansa.com to convert your ticket into a train voucher if you have a domestic flight booked in Germany.