Lufthansa Strike

A Little Hope, for a Change

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    After a series of pilot strikes, Lufthansa’s management has presented the pilots’ union with a new offer. It is still unclear whether the union will accept, even though the company believes it has met the demand the union cited as a condition for arbitration.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • The dispute has been underway for years, and there have already been 15 pilot strikes to date.
    • While the pilots’ union wants a 20-percent pay increase, the latest offer by management calls for an increase of only 4.4 percent.
    • The latest strike forced Lufthansa to cancel 4,450 flights and has cost the airline €10-15 million a day.
  • Audio

    Audio

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Lufthansa Pilots Continue Strike
Lufthansa pilots have taken to the streets in Frankfurt. Might they finally be pulled back to the negotiating table? Source: Hannelore Foerster/Getty Images

There is new movement in a long deadlocked pay dispute between pilots and management at German airline Lufthansa. Shortly before the end of what was a 15th crippling strike by 5,400 pilots, the management has presented a new offer in the hopes of finally putting aside a mess that has shaken confidence in Europe’s largest airline.

“We are determined to avert further damage to the company and finally offer our passengers, once again, the service they can expect of us,” said Harry Hohmeister, a member of Lufthansa’s executive board.

Lufthansa made its latest offer Wednesday evening to the pilots’ union, Vereinigung Cockpit (VC). Executives believes they have finally met the demands the union had cited as a condition for beginning arbitration in the wage dispute, one which has dragged on for years and cost the airline hundreds of millions in canceled flights and angry passengers the world over.

Whether Cockpit interprets the offer in the same way and is now willing to enter arbitration remains unclear. Union officials said they were reviewing the offer and have asked for more details from management. But there is one good sign for the airline: Strikes for Thursday and Friday have not been called.

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