Lufthansa pilots vote for industrial action over wages

BERLIN—Pilots for Germany’s flag carrier Lufthansa voted in favor of industrial action on Sunday by a margin of 97.6 percent, threatening further disruption during the busy summer travel season.

Strikes and staff shortages have already forced airlines, including Lufthansa, to cancel thousands of flights, leading to hours-long queues at major airports and reducing travel after COVID-19 lockdowns. It’s frustrating for avid vacationers.

A vote doesn’t necessarily mean a strike is going to take place, but it is a signal to employers that constructive steps need to be taken, said Marcel Groels, director of pilots’ union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC). said.

“We are showing that we are ready to talk,” he added.

A Lufthansa spokeswoman said it respects the vote and hopes to reach a constructive solution at the negotiation table.

The pilot’s union VC is demanding a 5.5% increase in the pilot’s wages this year, followed by automatic inflation compensation.

We also want a uniform salary structure for all staff in the Lufthansa Group airlines, including flagship airline Lufthansa and budget arm Eurowings.

Lufthansa has already been shaken by Wednesday’s ground staff strike action, which has forced the airline to cancel more than 1,000 flights.

Separately, the pilots of Lufthansa’s Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) division have rejected the contract proposal with an 80% margin, the Aeroparz trade union said on Sunday, promising to resume negotiations with SWISS management as soon as possible. He added that he was aiming for

“If management does not recognize the signs of the times and does not immediately provide an appropriate solution, pilots must further demonstrate how frustrated they are with management,” the details said. said without mentioning it.

The current deal expired in April after management rejected a tentative deal in initial negotiations, according to Aeroparz.