After months and years of squabbling and strikes, Lufthansa has announced that it has reached a binding long-term agreement with UFO, the union that represents most of Lufthansa’s cabin crew employees.
The new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) is in place until June 30, 2019 with further agreements that guarantee salary increases, employment guarantees, and pension enhancements beyond that date:
Cabin crew will receive a 1% raise on October 1, with an additional 2% raise on January 2018.
A shift in pensions programs from a defined benefit program to a defined contribution program. This reduces fiscal liability to Lufthansa, who will contribute 5.2% of an employees salary annually towards their pension benefit. Employees can still retire at age 55.
A conflict resolution process has been put in place through 2023.
Current cabin crew have employment guarantees through 2021. Lufthansa will not be able to hire non-union cabin crew for Lufthansa Airlines until 2023.
Late last week, Lufthansa announced that it had agreed to enter arbitration with UFO. For those of you not familiar with UFO, they are the union that represents Lufthansa’s cabin crews.
The new agreement promises labor peace between UFO and LH until June 30th at which point this arbitration agreement is set expire. This latest agreement for arbitration is important to both sides because their previous ‘band-aid’ agreement expires on September 30. Last year, LH and UFO reached agreements on several points, however there are still a few agreements that need to be reach in order to have a long term labor agreement in place.
From what I’ve read, it seems that both sides are optimistic that a deal will be reached and perhaps for the first time in a long time, we can book travel without the shadows of strikes in the background.
LUFTHANSA has announced that negotiations with UFO, the union representing the majority of their cabin crews have broken down. Both sides set November 1 as a deadline to reach agreement and with the lack of any progress, the union has now threatened ‘imminent’ strikes.
As is their typical method, they provided no indication as to when these strikes may come. In past tantrums, the union usually offered 24 hours notice and would target certain parts of LH’s timetable.
The best that union could offer at this point is the fact that they’ll announce additional details and plans on Monday.
As disruptive as these strikes can be, Lufthansa has been fairly proactive with providing rebooking and refund options for passengers affected by strike disruptions. If you travels involve LH in the next week or so, pay special attention. Usually the Union doesn’t wait too long to send its tired message.
LUFTHANSA and the union that represents the majority of their cabin crews, ‘UFO’, have both expressed optimism after recent negotiations.
Initially the union had given Lufthansa until September 1 to propose acceptable solutions to the dispute, but thanks to the success of the negotiations the deadline has been moved back to November 1. According to comments from LH and the union, it appears that they have found common ground on several issues, yet have a few more to resolve.
With this recent development and the fact that the Pilot’s union is also satisfied with the current pace of negotiations, it appears that strike threats have been eliminated for the coming months.
Lufthansa unfortunately is battling labor issues on two fronts at the same time.
The more ‘popular’ of the two is the ongoing rift with the union that represents the majority of Lufthansa pilots, known as Vereingung Cockpit (VC). However another battle is being fought with UFO, who represents upwards of 18,000 cabin crew employees who are not pilots.
The latter battle, with UFO, appears to be making progress as both sides have agreed to meet for negotiations some time in mid-February following a vote of the membership that is taking place this month. The crux of the disagreements between Lufthansa and UFO revolves around 2 primary issues: Cabin crew pensions and how union-member employees will be treated as Lufthansa expands its Low Cost Carrier operations when it introduces WINGS this year.
It looks as though for now any strike threat from UFO is greatly diminished but the threat remains for VC to ask pilots to go on strike on relatively short notice.
More details as they become available……