Frankfurt/Main Lufthansa passengers should expect strikes by the flight attendants at the end of the week. Their union Ufo has called for a 48-hour strike on Thursday and Friday (November 7 and 8).
On Monday, the union Ufo announced a strike in which all departing Lufthansa flights would be affected. Lufthansa wants to stop the strike by legal means and at the same time is preparing a special flight plan for the strike days. The airlines condemned the “massive” call for a strike by the union and said that legal action was being examined. According to the spokesperson, the Lufthansa Group offers about 580 departures from Germany every day. Of those departures, 380 are from Lufthansa airlines itself.
Ufo Vice President Daniel Flohr said there would be calls for strikes at other airlines within the Lufthansa group in the coming days. "As with the last warning strikes, the entire Group will be affected by this renewed wave of labor disputes. We would like to remind both our colleagues and customers that further announcements are possible at any time," he said in a statement.
This means work stoppages are possible at the Lufthansa core company as well as at four other airlines: Eurowings Deutschland, Germanwings, Lufthansa Cityline and SunExpress. For all five flight operators with a total of more than 25,000 flight attendants, the Ufo has set separate tariff demands and obtained the approval of the members for strikes. According to information provided by the union on Friday, the approval was confirmed with 77.5 to 96.2 percent of the votes cast.
There was conflicting information about whether or not Lufthansa had been informed by Ufo on Friday about the strikes. The Lufthansa spokesperson said official negotiations would only be conducted after the re-election of the Ufo executive board scheduled to take place on February 14, but exploratory talks could begin earlier.
In the dispute, Ufo had already organized a 19-hour warning strike at the four Lufthansa subsidiaries on October 20, causing more than 100 flights to be cancelled. At that time, too, a strike was threatened at the Lufthansa parent company, which was then cancelled at short notice. The last regular Ufo strike at the Lufthansa parent company dates back to 2015.
In a Youtube video, flight attendant Marco Todte addressed passengers: "Lufthansa cabin employees are exercising their basic right to strike. We apologize for any inconvenience." The spokesman for the collective bargaining commission also warned the management against threatening the employees again with personal legal consequences.
(Orig. text: Christian Ebner, dpa