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Lufthansa pilots threaten strike as wage talks fail

DPA/The Local · 22 Mar 2010, 16:06

Published: 22 Mar 2010 16:06 GMT+01:00

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Pilots’ union Cockpit said Lufthansa had made an inadequate offer and announced a four-day strike between April 13 and 16. The pilots decided to wait until after the Easter holidays to avoid major disruptions for passengers.

Some 4,500 pilots from Lufthansa, Lufthansa Cargo and subsidiary Germanwings are expected to take part.

Meanwhile the airline's head negotiator Roland Busch defended the offer for a 21-month pay freeze, saying it was appropriate to the circumstances and would protect their jobs until 2012.

The airline must currently avoid spending increases, he added.

In late February Cockpit called a first round of strikes for Lufthansa pilots, but after just one day a Frankfurt court stopped the industrial action.

Story continues below…

The company had asked authorities to prevent the four-day strike from continuing, calling it “disproportionate.” The scheduled strike had been projected to cost Lufthansa up to €65 million, and the first day alone grounded almost half of the airline’s flights.

Like most airlines, the German flag carrier is still feeling the pinch of the global economic crisis, but Cockpit has said its members deserve a 6.4-percent pay raise and job guarantees.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

14:20 March 22, 2010 by AirForceGuy
The last line says it all, "Cockpit has said its members deserve a 6.4-percent pay raise and job guarantees". It's nice to have a (greedy) union to tell us what 'they deserve'. In the end, the public will 'pay' and hopefully some (many) of the union employees will suffer too! What a great system!
14:50 March 22, 2010 by William Thirteen
and your evidence for that would be.....?
15:03 March 22, 2010 by gagaou
Alitalia, Sabena, etc.........
15:04 March 22, 2010 by Eagle1
The global economy is in the toilet, and these guys want a pay raise. That makes sense.
15:08 March 22, 2010 by wood artist
I'm scheduled to fly April 18. I these self-serving idiots screw that up, I'm going to be less than cordial about it. Maybe their union bosses need to wake up and smell the coffee.

Everyone is doing whatever they can to simply have a job and keep it, and these greedy idiots want a raise and guarentees. Did they notice that the company is losing money? Just where, exactly, would the money for a raise come from?

Sorry, buddies, but we're all trying to hang on and get through this. You might just price yourselves out of a job, and then you can demand whatever you like...but the unemployment line won't really care, and being a pilot isn't exactly a transferable job skill.

Get to work, and be happy you can.

15:59 March 22, 2010 by Paranoid_Android
These guys earn as much as 250,000€ a year.. And they want a pay rise in the financial crisis?!?
16:07 March 22, 2010 by beeker
I guess that the company wants to pay the same rate as other transport workers. Pilots working for the Cheapo (commuter) airlines in the states make less than city bus drivers. Here is a link to the commuter crash that should be a wake up call to those wanting to fly with the lowest paid pilots


Wonder if the CEO and directors are going to give them selves a raise if they win a wage freeze.
16:56 March 22, 2010 by chimpansi
This is pure greed... Lufthansa management makes less money than these guys... Lufthansa Cityline & Germanwings are just bunch of rotten toy... those pilots cant expect to be paid 250K... we need some serious technology upgrade here... we have driverless train dont we?? so why not have a pilotless aircraft?? atleast for the small equipment!! GET REAL guys!!
18:01 March 22, 2010 by peschvogel
This will be the domino of insolvencies in Germany. German shipping companies, sozial welfare benefits, German banks, German auto suppliers are all about to go under. A Lufthansa strike will push the dire situation in Germany over the cliff... Germany is on the brink of something disasterous.
18:55 March 22, 2010 by goody
Im flying out of Toronto in May and I guess I should Have taken Air Canada .Lufthansa is living a bad taste in my mouth.There is no such thing as job guarentees be grateful try living on $26000 you greedy bastards
19:17 March 22, 2010 by peschvogel
Lufthansa new gingle should be:

Come fly with Lufthansa...Overpaid workers, most efficient tea/coffee cart delivery, terrible leg room and a "prior" German state owned airline that will tax you to the high heavens because our workers need to strike because they cant afford the ex-wives 2nd car in the worst economy thats getting worse...

Gute Flug!
19:22 March 22, 2010 by Deutschguy
Disregard peschvogel's dire warnings. He has some notion that a collapse of the Euro is imminent, and that Germany will revert to the Deutsch Mark.

I think he actually hopes that will happen. Perhaps he's over positioned himself for short sales.
20:08 March 22, 2010 by peschvogel
I take your words as a compliment. Vielen Danke
21:06 March 22, 2010 by dbert4
And he didn' even mention the something to do with the low birth rate and brain drain.
21:21 March 22, 2010 by peschvogel
Yes, Germany's birth rate of 1.3 cannot be reveresed so there has been massive immigration policies by the EU to allow immigrants to pay the needed tax revenues for debt service in the future. You cannot change Germany's irreversible birth rate in decline.

Brain drain in Germany is well, we all know what happens, emigration. Thats because of the low wages, low incentives to succede in Germany.

Lufthansa is just an example of what berlin meant in January by "radical restructuring" happening in Germany in 2010. This year, economic redesign where inefficient state owned companies & institutions (e.g. airlines, landesbanks, hospitals, schools, etc) in the past that were driven by artificially high demand will have to invest into R&D introducing new products that would attract new demands (of people who will more carefully assess their purchases) and more efficient technologies allowing more economic productions. in addition, increased transparency in public finances will be the normal as there will be stronger pressures for sticking with fiscal rules which can be achieved by minimizing losses caused by corruption and grey economy.

The problem of German state owned companies is that their is an old "driftwood" mentality where companies fail or succeed in boom & bust periods however, In Germany, they are always thrown a life line. Not this time. You will see insolvencies because Germany has become "uncompetitive' to deal with the new normal facing their economy (e.g. demographics, immigration, brain drain, higher taxes, etc). You will see a more "incentive" based economic structure. Welcome to the new millenium..
21:47 March 22, 2010 by Feliks
They need your money to pay for Greek holidays....hahaha.
21:52 March 22, 2010 by peschvogel
It sounds like working for a state owned company in Germany its a holiday everyday! Schlim...
22:07 March 22, 2010 by townboy28
ha!ha! don't scare germany of your prophecy, better to look your own mess .

At the moment germany still the strongest economy in europe.

here's a news for you, you are the next.....so better to be nice to germans so that you can still get a handout from us.

22:14 March 22, 2010 by peschvogel
I am not from Gross Britania you boob. And the UK will fare much better because they have control over their currency because they never joined the inherintly flawed Euro projekt. Germany is unfortantely 20% of the Euro and the Eurozone is heading to deflation. The Fed will raise rates this year while you'll be making fruit and nut casings in your basement for future consumption:


And your at the memoment is wrong. German gdp, exports, profits are down but unemployment is up. Dont yell into the forest.
23:42 March 22, 2010 by normal.xtra
'And your at the memoment is wrong'.

This is so true as not only is the spelling wrong but just gobbely google.

The UK has no control over it's currency considering it's massive debt to China. The Fed makes virtual money out of thin air and of course it's debt to China is enough to sink large ships made of ice in a sea of pissss.

Germany has a manufacturing basis and GB has none. No competition there then.
23:53 March 22, 2010 by Logic Guy
Well, it would be a wonderful thing if everyone were able to get exactly wanted. However, I'm sure that we all know that this will never be a reality.

Some years ago, American Airlines pilots demanded a raise, even though the airline insisted that they couldn't afford it.

The airline gave in, in an effort to avoid a crippling strike.

And sure enough, when the American's financial health worsened, the pilots were forced to give thoses raises back, just as I predicted.

As a human being, if you lack logic, then you expose yourself to the most negative things of this world, and perhaps the one that will follow as well.
00:07 March 23, 2010 by peschvogel
Right....Ha, normal.xtra: Keep telling yourself that. You are in denial. Its okay.

Yes, just like your Focus magazine and "zeitgeist" prhopecies, the US is currently under hyper-inflation. We are rolling wheel-barrows to get a loaf of bread. We are using dollar bills for firewood.

Germany's exports are dead normal.xtra. look at teh Dry Baltic Index you ninny. Your country is running on fumes and surpluses. Between trade wars, a high euro, higher taxes, a one-size-fits-all currency problems, country bailouts, irreversible fertility rates, etc. You cant use your "export" bravado forever. All good things come to an end. You have no control over your currency because you have no control over countries other than yourselves.

It never ceases to amaze me the stupidy between the northern European plain. The welfare state is over. You will have to work "always". No more free rides on the country dime. German autos, industrials, airlines, banks are at the breaking point. You will see massive insolvencies soon in your country...Schade...
03:20 March 23, 2010 by SilberFuchs
Pilots? These guys look like they were just rescued from a Das Boot lifeboat. ;-)
09:26 March 23, 2010 by dbert4
@townboy28 - Of course "peschvogel" isn't a Brit, his type of BS can only come from an Ami. Amazing that he, from the largest debtor nation on Earth has the HUGE balls to be a prophet of doom predicting the demise of the most industrious, intelligent group of people the world has known. With the best managed, most innovative industry the world has ever known I might add. They with consistent trade SURPLUSES year after year, wow American industry can only speculate what that must that feel like.

Since he interjects his same nonsense into EVERY topic no matter how irrelevant it is, I have to wonder what his real problem is? I'll bet he has a German ex-wife that, "stuck it in deep" and as revenge he's going to bring the country down by repeating the same lame opinions over and over. Good luck with that!
10:00 March 23, 2010 by Joshontour
peschvogel, Gute Flug!, Vielen Danke, Schlim...

Maybe you should stick with English!!!
10:06 March 23, 2010 by Deutschguy
Pesch is an embarrassment to Americans, if he is an American. Notice how he calls anyone who disagrees with him some silly name, like a 12 year old on the school playground. He is full of negativism and bitterness, with no evidence to back it up.

When called on his international legal ignorance, by a practicing attorney, he wrote about 15 paragraphs of nonsense to attack the guy. Nothing of what he wrote addressed the central issue.

Disregard his ramblings. He has no inside knowledge or evidence to back up his claims.
10:15 March 23, 2010 by tech71
Great. I have a flight scheduled 13 Apr and it is absolutely critical. These people are too stupid to realize they are shooting themselves in the foot. As a consumer I am going to make the choice to never fly LH again if this strike affects my flight.
10:43 March 23, 2010 by dbert4
From what I understand from friends at LH, the issue here is not the pay raise. The pay 6.4 percent pay request is a bargaining issue.

The real issue is to prevent LH from adopting the German Wings pay schedule for LH. Apparently LH has to some extent used German Wings pilots as a "farm team". By bringing pilots up through what is a lower cost airlines, with a much lower pay structure and later moving them to LH there is a lot of money to be made/saved.

Although the Pilots are theatening their own jobs and risking alienation, they do have a valid economic issue.
11:30 March 23, 2010 by chimpansi
dbert4, thats business. Purpose of business is to make profits not to pay for these pilots porsche!!

Cargo pilots and cityline pilots cant expect to be paid at par with LH passenger pilots!!

Oh by the way even if LH adopts Germanwings pay schedule these guys arent going to strave. They probably wont be able to buy their second house in some exotic island.

The amount of money thats involved is not even funny!!

Its time LH shows its middle finger!!
12:19 March 23, 2010 by tech71
Just sent Cockpit an Email voicing my concerns regarding this proposed strike. Tell them what you think!

12:23 March 23, 2010 by punkspop
Compare numbers all day long and argue over which country is better. the bottom line is that the global perfect ratio of producers to consumers (that can actually consume without creating debt) has passed. Without a global solution (and 3rd world nations can't be left out- they are in this mix) it will only get worse. Countries are too connected in the 21 century to believe their economies can find solutions primarily based on only that economies activities. Love it or hate it- this is the world's baby.
13:23 March 23, 2010 by erdinger
Bottom line is Lufthansa is planning for future flight crew hires to come from outside Germany, i.e., non-German. Thereby, allowing Lufthansa to by-pass German labor laws resulting in flight deck crews losing their job security.
15:42 March 23, 2010 by dbert4
I can fly any airline that I want but fly ALMOST only with Lufthansa, not because their the cheapest but because they are the best. Their Pilot training, aircraft and maintenance are superb.

I'm not interested in them staffing their planes with 3rd rate none German types even if I can save money if they do it.
17:15 March 23, 2010 by peschvogel

"Disregard his ramblings. He has no inside knowledge or evidence to back up his claims."

Oh yes I do.....In much higher places than you wish you ever knew...Funny, "Deustchguy" is an American. Should be handing in hos passport as he spews hate. Traitor.
01:18 March 24, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Trust me, peschvogel is NOT an American. His use (or misuse) of the English language would prevent him from passing second grade. I suspect he's a semi-literate Greek with a hardon for Germany and extremely low self-esteem which is well-deserved.
04:51 March 24, 2010 by peschvogel
Prufrock2010: I would never trust you because what you assume is falsch.

You want to put me in a category, label me, call me a name, but you cant because you are wrong, wrong, wrong...
12:42 March 25, 2010 by Joshontour
so dbert is a racist

"I'm not interested in them staffing their planes with 3rd rate none German types "

There was once a party in Germany that thought like this, around the early part of the 20th century, I wonder how that worked out for them.

I myself am a Pilot and did my training through a private flight training school in Germany. The JAR-FCL requirements are no different for LH pilots as for anybody else. I had to pass the same theoretical exam as they do, I had to pass the same practical exam as they do, and my type rating was just as intense as theirs. So where do you get the idea that they are better trained as anybody else?
15:33 March 25, 2010 by dbert4
@Joshontour - Don't misrepresent my statement, my comment is, "Their Pilot training, aircraft and maintenance are superb."

Let me put it in language the you might understand, "Lufthansa doesn't crash their planes!"

For that, I'm willing to pay more.
16:56 March 25, 2010 by chimpansi
dbert4, historical analysis shows that pilot error was NOT the major reason for aircraft crash. Rather it was crappy aircraft & weather. In this case LH domestic(&EU)aircraft are crappy in any case, like their cold rock hard sandwich!! So from where did the "Superb" factor comein?
19:50 March 25, 2010 by dbert4
@chimpansi - Are you thick or actually a "Chimpansi"?

As previously stated, "Lufthansa doesn't crash their planes!" to most people that meaning would be clear.
21:34 March 25, 2010 by Joshontour

What part of directly quoting you was "misrepresenting" ...your exact word were "I'm not interested in them staffing their planes with 3rd rate none German types " you don't see the racism in that?

As far as their training is concerned... how do you figure it to be superb? They don't go "above and beyond" JAR-FCL standards. Maybe you consider that their practical flight training is done in the US into your superb training belief?

as far as not crashing their planes is concerned, Air Berlin, Qantas, Ryanair, Contact Air, Tuifly etc...have never had a hull loss accident, Condors airlines only hull loss was when it was a subsidiary of Lufthansa, and Lufthansa has had 7.
02:53 March 26, 2010 by peschvogel
Unions = Raus
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