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    Verdi calls on Lufthansa ground staff to strike again


    27 hours from Tuesday morning
    Verdi calls on Lufthansa ground staff to strike again

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    The wage dispute between Verdi and Lufthansa over the working conditions of ground staff is entering the next round. An improved offer is not enough for the union; from Tuesday morning onwards, nothing will be done at the larger airports in Germany.

    The service union Verdi has again called on Lufthansa ground staff to go on strike in the wage dispute. The union announced that employees should stop work from 4 a.m. on Tuesday until 7.10 a.m. on Wednesday. The airports affected are Frankfurt, Munich, Hamburg, Berlin, Düsseldorf, Cologne-Bonn and Stuttgart. In addition to Lufthansa passenger transport, the Lufthansa Technik and Lufthansa Cargo divisions are also affected by the dispute. Different times for the warning strike would apply to these, Verdi explained.

    A 27-hour strike at the beginning of February largely paralyzed flight operations at Lufthansa's hubs in Frankfurt and Munich. Around 900 of 1,000 scheduled flights were cancelled, affecting around 100,000 passengers, according to Lufthansa.

    Lufthansa improved its offer last week. It provides for ten percent more money over the next twelve months. The union is demanding 12.5 percent more pay and at least 500 euros per month for the 25,000 Lufthansa ground workers over a period of twelve months.

    Verdi calls Lufthansa's salary policy “extremely antisocial”

    “The ground workers feel insulted once again,” said Verdi negotiator Marvin Reschinsky about Lufthansa's current offer. While the company is giving its pilots, with a basic annual salary of up to 270,000 euros, double-digit pay increases, the ground workers, with starting hourly wages of sometimes 13 euros, are not even supposed to compensate for the price increases of the last few years. This is “extremely antisocial.”

    Reschinsky regretted the further escalation of the conflict: “We do not want this escalation. We want a quick result for employees and passengers.” Management should have come to its senses after the last strike last Wednesday at the latest. The Verdi negotiator accused the Lufthansa management of not being prepared to “negotiate more than their one offer” at the last negotiation meeting.

    Pilots strike at Discover Airlines currently ongoing

    Meanwhile, a three-day strike by pilots at Lufthansa's holiday airline Discover Airlines, called by the Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) union, is still ongoing until Monday evening. According to the company, 8 of 19 flights at the airline, which operates from Frankfurt and Munich, will be cancelled on Sunday. Passengers will be rebooked onto flights operated by other Lufthansa airlines. On Saturday, a third of Discover's flights could not take off as planned. The VC wants to use this to force the young airline, which has around 400 cockpit employees on a fleet of 24 aircraft, to conclude collective agreements for the first time.

    The airline recently concluded an agreement with the works council which, according to the VC, corresponds to the wage agreement that is almost ready to be concluded. However, the union is pushing for a collective agreement for which strikes can be held, unlike the works agreement. The airline has declared itself willing to hold further wage talks. The VC called on cockpit staff at the parent company Lufthansa to go on a solidarity strike for Discover employees on Monday morning. This affects four long-haul flights with the Boeing 787.

    A Lufthansa spokesman said that enough staff had been found to ensure that the flights could take place. Lufthansa operations chief Karl Brandes criticized the strike in support of the agreement, saying that it would reduce the collective bargaining agreement reached at Lufthansa Airlines last year without industrial action to absurdity.

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