Pilots at German airline Discover to stage fresh strike

The Local Germany
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Pilots at German airline Discover to stage fresh strike
A Discover Airlines passenger plane at Frankfurt Airport. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Arne Dedert

Pilots with the Lufthansa subsidiary Discover have been called out on a three-day strike starting this weekend.


The Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) union said the three-day strike at Discover Airlines would begin in the early hours of Saturday, February 17th, and last until just before midnight on Monday, February 19th. It is the fourth work stoppage in two months. 

The union said the strike was being called because of failed collective bargaining negotiations, and added that the aim was to conclude a "timely and fair" agreement.

Union is campaigning for collective agreement

Employers says they will pay pilots higher salaries, which it has agreed with the works council. The new salaries meet the union's demands, as both sides have confirmed.

But the union intends to continue the industrial action because it says a company agreement does not have the legal quality and security of a collective labour agreement with the union.

Future talks about salary increases would become "collective begging" rather than collective bargaining, the union said.

However, according to a spokesperson for Discover, the company remains committed to the goal of a collective labour agreement, reported Germany's Tagesschau.

The VC collective bargaining commission is also warning members about the "social partnership charter" sought by the Lufthansa Group, which it argued could undermine the union's ability to organise strike action in future.  

VC organised a five-hour warning strike shortly before Christmas and a 24-hour strike at the airline at the end of January. The airline had to cancel relatively few flights, as airlines from the Lufthansa Group stepped in to provide cover and a small number of staff worked despite the strike. A further strike took place in February.

On Friday morning it was unclear which flights in Germany were affected by the strike.

A statement on the Discover website said: "We are working to keep the impact on our guests as low as possible. Please check your current flight status regularly and include your contact details in your booking."

Discover Airlines, which until last September was known as Eurowings Discover, is part of the Lufthansa group and employs around 2,000 people. Based in Frankfurt, southern Germany, it has a fleet of 24 planes handling short, medium, and long-haul flights to tourist destinations.


This latest industrial action comes as Germany grapples with a growing wave of strikes. On Friday, several Edeka supermarkets closed amid retail strikes led by Verdi, and PostBank employees in Hamburg also walked out in a strike called by Verdi.

Meanwhile, there have been several strikes called by the GDL Train Drivers' union (GDL) in recent months, paralysing long-distance rail traffic and the S-Bahn network, as well as strikes affecting air travel. 



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