Lufthansa announced yesterday that they’ve agreed in principal to the recommendations that came out of mediation sessions with Vereinigung Cockpit. Now it’s up to the Union to vote on the recommendations. The vote is expected to take place by late March.
In summary, here is what the deal looks like:
- Pilots will get a retroactive pay raise of 2% going back to January 1, 2016, and an additional 2.3% pay raise effective January 1, 2017.
- On January 1, 2018, an additional raise of 2.4% will be paid, and yet another raise of 2% on January 2019.
- A one-time ‘bonus’ will be paid that will amount to €5000-€6000 per pilot.
- The deal would be in effect until 2019.
Keep in mind this is only one part of the multi-faceted labor issue. The harder portion of reaching complete labor peace involves figuring out how pensions will be earned and paid. So we’re not quite out of the woods yet.
Lufthansa, though agreeing to the proposal, did come back with a response that suggested consequences are in the offing as a result of this deal. With the deal expected to cost Lufthansa at least €85 million annually, LH has suggested that it may use cabin crew on 40 aircraft that are not subject to the agreement. Most likely this would come from the pilots being ‘acquired’ through the Air Berlin deal that sees LH operating AB aircraft on their routes beginning this year. They are not subject to this agreement and would be one easy option to help mitigate at least some of the increase in labor cost.
Union representatives suggested that this deal may not be an easy one to sell to their members due to the issue revolving around the 40 aircraft that would have cockpit crew not covered by the agreement.
Also as part of the agreement and announcement, LH has indicated that no jobs will be impacted due to this arrangement.
While knocking on wood, there is hope that labor peace will exist between Lufthansa and Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) through the Holidays.
In comments coming out of Frankfurt, it appears that both sides have agreed to a new series of mediation in an attempt to finally bridge the gap between the union and the airline. So I’m cautiously optimistic that the union will not pull any stunts that seek to hurt passengers during one of the busiest travel season of the year.
Obviously past mediations have yielded nothing but more strikes and passenger grief but there’s always hope of reaching a deal. Just like there’s hope of winning the lottery.
The labor dispute will enter it’s fifth year in 2017. Pilots have been working without a new deal since 2012 and I suspect that trend to continue for the foreseeable future.
Lufthansa has announced that pilots will once again walk off the job for a substantial period next week.
On Tuesday, November 29, 2016 all short haul flights are subject to the strike from 12:01a until 11:59p.
Then on Wednesday, November 30, 2016, the union has called for strikes to ground ALL flights, both short and long haul flights scheduled to depart from Germany. The strike on Wednesday will last from 12:01a until 11:59p.
Lufthansa will be publishing a special timetable for Tuesday and Wednesday. Expect it to be available by 2:00pm on Monday (Frankfurt Time). You can check on your flight status by clicking this link.
Keep in mind that Lufthansa DID NOT have to cancel all the flights that were targeted by the insane union leadership during the previous strikes. In fact, LH was able to operate a significant amount of flights during each strike day.
If your flights are affected, you must call the airline or travel agency that issued your ticket. If your ticket is not issued by Lufthansa, do not call them directly, they will be unable to help and you’ll spend a lot of time on hold for no reason. If you redeemed miles for your LH flight, call the frequent flyer program that issued your ticket.
If your ticket is issued by LH, you can go online to LH.com to review your options, or call your local LH customer service center.