The pilots are also preparing to go on strike at the Lufthansa subsidiary Eurowings. The union Vereinigung Cockpit has called on its members to vote, as announced on Tuesday.
“A ballot is not a strike decision and not a break-up of talks. Of course, we are still willing to talk and would like to reach a solution through negotiations,” explained VC spokesman Lars Frontini.
VC has already proceeded in a similar way at the Lufthansa core company and has met with great approval from the workforce there. Negotiations are currently taking place behind closed doors.
VC had recently announced that it would more closely coordinate trade union activities at the various Lufthansa companies. In the case of a ballot, the respective collective bargaining committee ensures the support of the members for their line in the labor dispute, including possible strikes.
The vote at Eurowings should end on August 31, as the union announced.
The main reason is the stress on the staff
According to VC, collective bargaining at Eurowings has stalled. Hardly any progress was made in the talks about the working conditions of the crews. The employer had also not submitted a negotiable offer.
The Verdi union demonstrated its power to strike in the middle of the high season at the end of July, causing around 1,000 flight cancellations at the Frankfurt and Munich hubs with a 24-hour strike in the wage dispute for Lufthansa ground staff.
A good week later, the airline agreed with Verdi on significant wage increases. The cockpit staff at Eurowings, like other groups of employees, complains that the workload is too high.
The strong increase in air traffic since spring has met with a thinning of the workforce, which puts a heavy strain on colleagues.
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A Eurowings spokesman said that the agreed negotiation plan was being adhered to. “It remains our concern and common mission to agree a solution at the negotiating table.”
They want to work out solutions together that take into account the improved operating conditions of the pilots and the competitiveness of the company. Eurowings handles direct flights within Europe within the Lufthansa Group and has around 100 aircraft.
Eurowings Discover negotiates without a union
Meanwhile, Eurowings Discover, which specializes in long-haul flights, is also fermenting. It was founded to compete with the holiday airline Condor with lower costs. The UFO cabin union had called on management to negotiate wages in March, but has not received a suggested date for talks from the employer since then.
The airline stated on Tuesday that it currently does not consider it necessary to conclude a collective agreement. Since the beginning of the year, there have been representatives of the employees in the cabin and cockpit, with whom salary increases have been “worked out”.
“Due to this very constructive cooperation, the management is not aware of any desire for the involvement of third parties on the part of the workforce,” explained Eurowings Discover.
From the employer’s point of view, the priority now is to set up a works council. (AP, Reuters)