Another strike hits Lufthansa Cargo services – and may not be the last

Source: The Loadstar 
Date: 19th February 2024

A strike starting on the evening of 19th February at Lufthansa Cargo will affect a “significant number” of freighter flights to and from Germany; and threatens to become a regular occurrence.

Trade union ver.di has called on Lufthansa ground staff to take part in another warning strike from 19 February, at 8pm CET, until 21 February at 7:10am CET.

The announcement follows strikes at Lufthansa Cargo just two weeks ago.

The head of aircrew alliance at ver.di told The Loadstar: “After the last negotiations, Lufthansa gave us a ‘special and better offer’ but from our point of view, it was only a different way to show us the same offer.

“It was not a good offer from the company side and so we did a strike pledge that found 99% of our members agreed ‘yes, we want to go to another warning strike action’.”

Lufthansa Cargo told its customers it would publish an emergency flight plan on its website on 19th February and warned that hubs in Frankfurt, Munich, Hamburg, Berlin and Dusseldorf would all be affected.

It said: “With regards to the affected shipments and contracts, we would like to point out that these are exceptional events, about which you will be duly informed.”

As well as delays and cancellations to its freighter schedule, Lufthansa has also introduced three temporary restrictions.

At its Frankfurt hub, it is not operating road feeder services during the strike period. Further, an embargo on dangerous goods and ornamental fish has been applied to Frankfurt from noon on 19th February until the end of the strike. At the Munich hub, an embargo on animals and ornamental fish is in place.

The German trade union has scheduled its next round of bargaining with Lufthansa on 21st February, requesting a 12.5% increase on the basic salary, among other conditions. If this is unsuccessful, more strike action may follow.

The head of aircrew alliance at ver.di told The Loadstar: “If they don’t send us a really, really good offer, we’ll do the same again.

“It is clearly signaled to the colleagues and to the management of Lufthansa that our proposal is correct and we want that money. If you look at the balance of Lufthansa, you can see they earned a good ebit in the last years, so why not?”

Ver.di deputy chairwoman said: “This is our collective bargaining response to 20 years of deregulation and wage dumping at airports.

“The great shortage of workers is also caused by the sometimes-miserable working conditions. With its attractive conditions, the new sectoral collective agreement can help to make jobs in ground handling services more attractive again.”

Indeed, Lufthansa reported “exceptional staff shortages” just two months ago.

The carrier told customers: “We regret the necessary adjustments and the inconvenience caused and thank you for your understanding and co-operation during this strike.”

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