A day after a German workers union called for Lufthansa ground workers to go on an all-day “warning strike,” the airline has made major cuts to its schedule.
Almost all of Lufthansa’s Wednesday flights to and from Frankfurt and Munich have been canceled, including 646 in Frankfurt and another 330 in Munich. Some have been canceled for Tuesday, too, including 32 in Frankfurt and 15 in Munich. The cancellations will affect close to 135,000 passengers.
Lufthansa also said that, while it is working to return to normal operations “as quickly as possible,” the effect of the strike could lead to more cancellations or delays on Thursday and Friday, too. The airline is working to rebook those affected by the cancellations. However, with capacity already cut, options are limited.
Michael Niggemann, the chief human resources officer and labor director at Lufthansa, said that Wednesday’s strike is “causing enormous damage.”
“It affects our passengers in particular, who are impacted during the peak travel season. And it is putting an additional heavy strain on our employees in an already difficult phase for air traffic,” he said.
ver.di, the union that called for the strike, is seeking a 9.5% pay increase and an increase in the hourly wage (from 12 euros to 13 euros) for its members. The union said that airports are becoming increasingly “overburdening” for its members due to continuing staff shortages, and high inflation and a three-year wage cut have kept its employees under pressure.
“They urgently need more money and they need relief—for themselves and for the passengers,” ver.di vice said.
Lufthansa, for its part, said on Tuesday that it had presented a package with two different monthly pay increases—one that starts in July 2022 and another in January 2023—along with a 2% increase in compensation “provided the Group’s earnings are positive.” It also said that it would increase its minimum wage to 13 euros starting in October.
The next round of negotiations between Lufthansa and the workers will take place on Aug. 3 and 4.