Lufthansa Flight Attendants Plan Strike for Friday
Lufthansa’s flight attendant union, the Unabhängige Flugbegleiter Organisation (UFO), is planning a series of strikes starting August 31. In the event of a labor action, passengers flying on Lufthansa will face travel disruptions starting Friday and union leaders say these may persist for quite some time.
Talks between the German flag carrier Deutsche Lufthansa and the UFO collapsed Wednesday after Lufthansa refused to meet the months-old demand of a 5% pay increase. The offer of a 3.5% increase was outweighed by increased hours and the widespread use of contract and temporary workers while 3,500 positions would be eliminated throughout the company. Lufthansa attributed its lower offer to increased competition from low-cost and foreign carriers as well as rising fuel costs.
Union leader Nicoley Baublies told media that the union’s strike plans remain secret in order to ensure the most tactical service disruptions possible, and the UFO website is telling members that information on specific action will be provided only six hours before it is to begin.
The cabin crew strike follows a ground worker strike that resulted in the cancellation of over 400 Lufthansa flights last March. Lufthansa encourages passengers to check their flight status online and affected passengers will be entitled to cancel or rebook their flights at no charge, or complete a domestic journey via Deutsche Bahn rail service.
(Photo: Jonathan Spira)
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