Just a few days after Lufthansa was forced to cancel more than 1,000 flights because of a ground workers strike at two of its major German hubs, the union that represents the airline’s pilots hinted at its own strike action.
The Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union, which represents about 9,600 cockpit crew members from all German airlines, reportedly said this week that should bargaining with the airline not go well, Lufthansa pilots would be the next group to strike.
"If (management) makes good offers, these will resonate with us pilots. But if these offers fail to materialize, we have little choice but to strike," Marcel Groels of the group said, according to Germany’s Spiegel newspaper.
The union is seeking a 5.5% pay increase and inflation-adjusted boosts after, according to Spiegel. The group is currently bargaining with Lufthansa on a new contract for its pilots, negotiations that are happening against a backdrop of the most chaotic summer travel season in recent memory.
Strike actions like that hinted at by Vereinigung have been a major factor in that chaos, including the recent ground worker striker, which resulted in almost all of Lufthansa’s Wednesday flights to and from Frankfurt and Munich being canceled, including 646 in Frankfurt and another 330 in Munich. The cancellations, according to Lufthansa, affected close to 135,000 passengers.
Other strike actions this summer included the SAS pilots' strike, which resulted in the cancellations of close to 4,000 flights over its almost two-week duration, and, outside of Europe, a WestJet workers strike at two of Canada’s major airports.