Lufthansa strike aftermath grounds passengers

Widespread cancellations of Lufthansa flights are expected to continue through Monday in the aftermath of a strike by trade union Verdi, a Lufthansa spokesman said on Sunday in Frankfurt.

Lufthansa strike aftermath grounds passengers
Japanese artists pass the time in the Frankfurt airport on Friday. Photo: DPA

Lufthansa cancelled about 130 flights daily on Saturday and Sunday, equaling the cancellations in the final days of the strike that ended with Saturday morning’s early shift.

The continuing cancellations are due to a contingency plan the airline put into place to deal with the strike, the spokesman told German news service DDP.

Some 130 cancellations are also expected on Monday. Some 40 cancellations are expected daily starting on Tuesday, the spokesman said, adding that Lufthansa expects to return to a regular flight schedule within two weeks.

Lufthansa estimates a total of 2,000 flights will have been cancelled due to the Verdi strike.

Lufthansa employees walked off the job on July 28 amid an ongoing wage dispute with the company.

A tentative wage deal announced on Friday would raise wages for 34,000 ground personnel by 5.1 percent from July 2008. Wages will increase a year later by another 2.3 percent. There will also be a one-time payment to employees.

A vote on the wage deal is set to begin on Wednesday and last one week. A group calling itself “Network for a Militant and Democratic Verdi” is calling on workers to vote against the deal, arguing that the union called off the strike just as its effects were beginning to be felt.

The airline is directing passengers to its website to check whether their flights have been affected.