Lufthansa’s 5000 pilots took to the polls this week to vote on the possibly of a strike after negotiations between the Airline and Pilot’s Union failed to reach an agreement. As a result over 95% voted in favor of a work stoppage. This includes pilots from Lufthansa, Lufthansa Cargo and germanwings (Lufthansa’s LCC).
The union stated that in the event of a strike, it would provide 48 hours notice and thus far has committed not to strike during the Easter Holiday which tends to be a VERY busy time of year for air travel within Europe.
Lufthansa has already negotiated new agreements with Cabin crew and Ground staff, leaving the Pilots group as the remaining piece that needs to be resolved. The Pilots are asking for pay raises and better terms for ‘transition contracts’ when Pilots choose to retire before normal pension payments begin. Specifically, Pilots are asking for a 4.6% raise retroactive to May 2013 along with a raise of 5.2% retroactive back to between March 2012 & April 2013.
This obviously can cause widespread misery for a lot of travelers. With the unions commitment of providing 48 hours notice, this will hopefully give Lufthansa enough time to re-accommodate passengers to other airlines and to other means of travel such as Deutsche Bahn (DB).
Obviously we have not heard the last of this, so I’ll provide updates as they become available.