Lufthansa makes deal with cabin crews

Germany's leading airline Lufthansa said on Tuesday that it had reached a deal with cabin crew representatives to end a bitter dispute that had led to work stoppages.

Lufthansa makes deal with cabin crews
Photo: DPA

The accord entails a near 4.6-percent salary hike on average, said the UFO trade union that represents some 18,000 cabin staff.

Lufthansa said the deal would be valid for two years, from January 1. The airline also agreed to refrain from operational layoffs until the end of 2014.

Lufthansa and the UFO union agreed to mediation in the dispute after staff staged strikes in September grounding hundreds of flights which mostly hit Frankfurt airport, Lufthansa’s main hub and Europe’s third-busiest airport.

The union had initially called for a five-percent pay rise while Lufthansa offered 3.6 percent.

The airline has engaged in a severe cost-cutting programme and has already announced the loss of 3,500 administrative jobs but last month it reported a sharp rise in earnings in the third quarter.

In one concession to the unions, Lufthansa had already agreed not to employ temporary cabin crew until 2016.


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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.