Lufthansa cabins crews to strike ‘any day now’

Lufthansa cabin crews will go on an open-ended strike any day now – but will not say when for tactical reasons, their trade union said on Tuesday.

Lufthansa cabins crews to strike 'any day now'
Photo: DPA

Head of the UFO cabin crew union Nicoley Baublies told a press conference in Frankfurt that the call to strike would be issued without warning in the coming weeks. Head negotiator Dirk Vogelsang stressed that the strike would not begin on Tuesday.

A Lufthansa spokeswoman told The Local that the airline could not undertake specific measures to minimize the impact to passengers until it knew when the strike would happen.

The airline is considering taking legal action to halt the strike, Lufthansa personnel manager Peter Gerber told a Frankfurt press conference on Tuesday afternoon.

UFO and Lufthansa are currently at loggerheads over a collective wage agreement that governs fees and salary levels. Lengthy negotiations overnight from Monday to Tuesday ended in deadlock.

Lufthansa said UFO’s demands were too high. The union is calling for a five percent raise and an end to the airline’s practice of employing lower-paid temporary workers.

UFO’s negotiator Dirk Vogelsang insisted that Lufthansa had offered too little and wouldn’t budge on structural issues. UFO fears that up to 2,000 flight attendants could be transferred to a Lufthansa subsidiary and paid less.

“If it says Lufthansa on the outside, it has to be Lufthansa on the inside,” said Vogelsang.

Except for minor warning strikes in 2009, Lufthansa flight attendants have never gone on strike.

UFO says it has mobilized more than half of Lufthansa flight attendants; members are to be called to action by email and text message.

Lufthansa is scheduled to hold a press conference on Tuesday afternoon to offer more details on its negotiations with UFO.

The Local/DPA/sh

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Strikes hit Amazon in Germany in the run up to Christmas

Around 2,500 Amazon employees at seven sites across Germany were on strike on Tuesday and unions warned stoppages could continue up to Christmas.

Amazon parcel in factory
A parcel rolls along a conveyor belt at an Amazon packing facility in Gera, Thuringia. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/dpa-Zentralbild | Bodo Schackow

The strikes at so-called “fulfilment” centres, where Amazon prepares packages before delivery, began in two locations on Monday.

The Verdi union is calling on Amazon for an “immediate” salary increase of three percent this year, followed by a further 1.7 percent next year, in line with a collective agreement for the retail sector, to which the e-commerce giant does not adhere.

Amazon could not continue to “refuse wage increases that other companies in the sector pay”, Verdi retail head Orhan Akman said in a statement Monday.

Amazon, which operates 17 centres in Germany, argues it is a logistics company, a sector in which the terms of work are considered to be less burdensome for the employer.

Amazon said it did not expect the strike to have an impact on clients.

However, a Verdi spokesman said the stoppage could cause disruption, particularly in Amazon’s rapid-delivery “Prime” offering.

Strikes were likely to continue “until the end of the year”, the spokesman said, impacting on the busy Christmas shopping period.


Verdi, which first called for strikes at Amazon in May 2013, organised demonstrations outside the fulfilment centres on Tuesday to protest poor working conditions.

Amazon — which has seen its business boom during the coronavirus pandemic as consumers increasingly shopped online — announced in September that it would open eight new centres in Germany, creating 3,000 jobs by 2022.