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German national carrier Deutsche Lufthansa AG faces multiple flight disruptions after talks with the union representing over 18,000 cabin crew failed. The failure of the 13 month old talks has been acknowledged by both the airline and the UFO union.
The UFO union said it will resort to strikes with only a few hours’ notice, which will have significant disruptions to the airline’s over 1,850 daily flights. The strike actions can commence as early as Wednesday.
With a worsening of the economies in Europe, sky-rocketing prices of fuel, and intense competition from the Gulf carriers, Lufthansa is pressing ahead with a broad-based cost-saving program, which includes eliminating about 3,500 administrative positions (about 3% of the airline’s 117,000 workforce), hiring of temporary staff, leasing of staff, and outsourcing some positions.
The union is pressing for a 5% pay increase after a three year wage freeze, against which Lufthansa has reportedly offered 3.5%. The union is has also demanded that there will be no leasing of personnel, ever, while the airline has reportedly offered a moratorium for now.
As per German media, both the main hub airports of Frankfurt and Munich have geared up for potential disruptions which could cost the carrier millions of euros each day. The airline is also reportedly examining its legal options while still trying to negotiate a deal.
For more information on potential flight disruptions visit this page on Lufthansa’s web-site.