• Germany's news in English

Union boss told to quit over Lufthansa flights

The Local · 2 Aug 2008, 12:49

Published: 02 Aug 2008 12:49 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Bsirske, chairman of trade union Verdi, took his wife on a free first-class Lufthansa flight to the South Pacific shortly before Verdi members capped a long-running wage dispute with the airline by walking off the job this week, Bild reported on Friday.

The trade union and Lufthansa announced a tentative wage agreement on Friday after Verdi members had walked off the job on Monday.

Bild reported that Bsirske and his wife flew business-class from Berlin to Frankfurt am Main on July 8 and then flew first-class through Los Angeles to a five-week vacation in the South Pacific.

Bsirske was entitled to the free flights because he is acting chief of the supervisory board of Lufthansa AG, but his timing raised eyebrows across the political spectrum in Germany and has led to calls for his resignation.

“Mr. Bsirske should stay in the South Pacific. If he does not resign now, union members should kick him out,” Dirk Niebel, secretary-general of the Free Democratic Party, told Bild on Saturday.

Michael Fuchs, an expert for the conservative Christian Democrats, told the paper Bsirske should also resign his position on the Lufthansa board.

Criticism also came from Bsirske’s own Green Party. Party whip Thea Dückert said that while Bsirske was technically within his rights to take the flights, it did not show sensitivity.

Story continues below…

A Verdi spokeswoman would confirm to German press agency DPA on Friday only that Bsirske was on vacation.

Lufthansa took a diplomatic approach towards the incident despite the trouble Bsirske’s union had caused it over the past week. "We decline to comment, and we do not release the flight information of passengers," a Lufthansa spokesman told DPA.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German town, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd