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Lufthansa on the Verge of another Staff Walkout

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DALLAS – Due to the summer travel demand spike, a shortage of security staff, and a paucity of luggage handlers, the situation at major airports in Germany is already challenging. Things could get worse now that Lufthansa’s (LH) ground staff will be on strike. 

According to The Berlin Spectator, unless there is a swift resolution in the salary negotiations for the airline’s ground personnel, another protest is precisely what will be unfolding on Wednesday. 20,000 workers were now requested to participate in the walkouts by the Verdi union.

Verdi’s goal is to press the airline, determined to achieve a 9.5% pay raise for all ground personnel from affiliates including Lufthansa Technik, Lufthansa Cargo, Lufthansa AG Boden, and others. If it does occur, the walkout will halt the majority, if not all, of the flights run by LH and its sister brands in Germany. In a way, it would also have an impact on other airlines, particularly the German business partners and clients of Lufthansa Technik.

In the most recent round of negotiations, Lufthansa AG made a proposal. The firm claims that a sizable wage boost was provided despite the strained circumstances brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenging economic climate. The German government had to rescue LH with billions of euros in 2020 when commercial aviation nearly ceased operations due to the closed borders and contact regulations.

Lufthansa accused Verdi of being unreasonable. The union disregarded the accusations and is now set on going thru with this week’s walkout.

AW_Julian-Scho%CC%88pfer-7-1024x683.jpgLufthansa D-AIUA Airbus A320 (Star Alliance livery) (perspective). Photo: Julian Schöpfer/Airways

The Walkouts and German Airport Operations

Verdi claims that the walkouts will start on Wednesday at 3:45 AM and last until 6:00 AM CEDT on Thursday. Consequently, feeder flights in the morning hours on Thursday will also be impacted. To make matters worse, it typically takes a day or more to restore any flight schedule after a strike or other comparable occurrence takes place. 

The fact is that security personnel were let go as they were unnecessary during the early stages of the pandemic. There are not enough at the moment. The same holds true for baggage handlers. As a result, thousands of checked bags are left off of planes that they are intended to be on.

There are way too many travelers who must endure the agony of looking for their belongings. If an agreement is not reached, passengers won’t be able to go about looking for their luggage on Wednesday since there won’t be anyone at the airport to talk to.

The largest and busiest airline hub in Germany is, of course, Frankfurt Airport (FRA). Numerous international flight routes are available at the sizable Franz Josef Strauss Airport (MUC) in the vicinity of Munich and at Düsseldorf Airport (DUS). Millions of people pass through Hamburg Airport (HAM), Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER), and Cologne Bonn Airport (CGN) each year.

As a result of the summer break, the workload has grown. Staffing shortages have caused hundreds of flights to be canceled. Now the LH flight schedule for Wednesday is likely to be canceled.

This is a developing story.

Featured image: Lufthansa has a significant long-haul offering at MUC and its entire Airbus A350 fleet is based at the hub. Photo: Munich Airport

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