Lufthansa Pilots to Stage 24-Hour Strike After Being Denied Pay Increase

Lufthansa will cancel 800 flights on Friday rather than provide a 5.5 percent pay increase to its 5,000 pilots.

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Lufthansa, one of Germany’s largest airlines, is canceling 800 flights, both commercial and cargo, on Friday due to a pilot strike, Reuters confirms. Pilots are being denied both a 5.5 percent pay increase and subsequent automatic inflation pay increases, resulting in a strike.

The Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) union stated that pay talks had not gone well and that its pilots would begin a strike starting after midnight on Thursday and lasting into Friday. VC wants its 5,000 pilots to have an increased pay raise for this year, followed by inflation adjustments afterward — and Lufthansa has adamantly rejected those pleas.

A Lufthansa spokesperson told Reuters that they “hope to get back to negotiations as soon as possible” but that the airline “cannot bear the cost increases associated with the VC’s demands.”

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This isn’t even the first time a strike has grounded Lufthansa flights this summer, either. In July, over 1,000 flights were canceled when ground staff went on strike thanks to — you guessed it — stalled talks about money. Ground staff said they were overworked and had grown tired of the three-year wage freeze that had locked their pay. The ground staff very nearly had to walk out again in August, but Lufthansa finally reached a pay deal with them.

In this case, Lufthansa has countered the 5.5 wage increase offer. From Reuters:

Lufthansa has offered a total of 900 euros ($901.35) more in basic pay per month in two stages over an 18-month term as well as an agreement guaranteeing cockpit staff a minimum fleet size.

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That, though, wasn’t enough. While I know I wouldn’t mind a little extra money in my pocket at the end of each month, I also know I’d prefer the comfort of knowing that, five years from now, my pay will reflect inflation increases.

The VC strike comes during a summer of staff shortages, strikes, and flight cancelations or delays around the world.