Early today in Frankfurt, a much awaited meeting took place between Lufthansa and the 3 main unions that cover most of their employees. Based on the comments coming from the meeting, there seems to be a genuine desire to find solutions but no firm outcomes came from the sessions.
Instead, all sides agreed that they need to improve trust and transparency amongst one another if long term labor peace is to be achieved. However that transparency does not involve the public as all sides decided that the contents of todays meeting are to be held in confidence. In addition, LH and the unions also agreed to keep the nature of future negotiations from the public as well.
As an optimist, these comments strike me as a desire by the airline and unions to keep their dirty laundry between themselves and not wage their battles in public. As part of this, they’ll try to restore trust that may have been lost between the airline and labor. Their comment about keeping their battles out of the public’s eye suggest to me that strikes would not be used as a weapon, but I may be TOO optimistic to go that far.
However as a pessimist, I do not get a positive ‘vibe’ after today’s meeting that anything has truly been accomplished. I continue to get the impression both sides have serious impasses to overcome and are not really certain how to do it, nor is anyone prepared to give up any ground in the process which means we can expect more of the same behaviors going forward.
Insanity is defined by the concept of doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result from the process.
I can’t think of a better way to sum things up when it comes to how things are going between LH and the unions.
There is however on small bit of silver lining…..
Late last week, LH and Ver.di, who represents 30,000 LH employees who are not cabin crew or pilots, reached a deal that would enhance pension benefits and provide for pay increases over the next 2 years. As part of the deal, members will also get a one time payment of up to €2250 this year. This new contract will be in force until December 2017.