Lufthansa settles bitter pay dispute

German flag carrier Lufthansa reached a pay accord with workers on Wednesday, unions and management said, resolving a bitter dispute that resulted in strikes which grounded hundreds of flights.

Lufthansa settles bitter pay dispute
Photo: DPA

The agreement, which runs for 26 months, will result in a 4.7 percent pay increase for staff working at subsidiaries Lufthansa System, Technik and Cargo.

Employees at Lufthansa itself will get a three percent rise in a deal that affects 33,000 staff in total.

Services union Verdi had demanded a 5.2 percent rise for all staff over a 12-month period, but expressed satisfaction at the outcome.

“The result of these negotiations can be put down to the combative nature of the staff and their significant strike action,” said Verdi’s Christine Behle.

A strike on April 22nd crippled Lufthansa operations and forced the airline to cancel all but a handful of flights from its Frankfurt hub, Europe’s third busiest.

That came a month after Lufthansa was forced to cancel nearly 700 of a total of 1,800 flights because of warning strikes.

“After difficult but constructive discussions, we have come to a fair agreement that meets the demands of both parties and opens up new opportunities for the future,” Lufthansa’s chief negotiator, Stefan Lauer, said in a statement.

Last year, the struggling airline unveiled a vast cost-reduction programme, including the cutting of 3,500 administrative jobs.


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Emergency numbers fail in several German states

Callers to the emergency numbers 110 and 112 weren’t able to reach operators Thursday morning in several German states.

The 112 emergency number on an ambulance.
The 112 emergency number on an ambulance. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Boris Roessler

The emergency number 110 for police and 112 for fire crews failed around the country early Thursday morning, with callers unable to reach emergency operators for urgent assistance between about 4:30 am and 5:40 am local time.

The Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Aid is looking into these outages, which were reported in states including Lower Saxony, Baden-Württemberg, and  Brandenburg, and in major cities like Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg, and Frankfurt. Cologne was further affected by cuts to electricity, drinking water, and regular telephone services. Lower Saxony also saw disruptions to the internal phone networks of police and hospitals.

Emergency services are not reporting any more disturbances and people should be able to once again reach 110 and 112 around the country as normal.

Investigators are looking into the problem, but haven’t yet established a cause or any consequences that may have happened due to the outage. Provider Deutsche Telekom says they have ruled out the possibility of an attack by hackers.