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Germany – Lufthansa sees more strikes this week over temps and pay

05 September 2012

The German media have started to criticise this week’s strikes led by Lufthansa unionists against the use of temporary employment and better pay and working conditions.

Lufthansa estimates that the strikes have so far cost the company millions and an end is not yet in sight. The newspaper Die Welt wrote that mistakes have been made on both sides but argued that the unions have missed an opportunity to compromise.

“When managers at Lufthansa unexpectedly offered more money [and] the waiving of temporary labour, the union demanded arbitration – only to extract more for themselves.” The papers criticised the move as “highly negligent.”

Today it has emerged that cabin crew at Lufthansa are to extend their strikes, taking 24-hour industrial action on Friday. Yesterday workers walked out at airports in Frankfurt, Berlin and Munich, leaving the airline no other option but to cancels hundreds of flights and leaving thousands of passengers stranded.

The UFO union, which organised the strike, announced the further strike action today and called on Lufthansa to start mediation.  The union wants a 5% increase in pay and guarantees against outsourcing and the use of temporary labour.

UFO and Lufthansa had been involved in lengthy negotiations over pay rises and the use of agency workers. These moves to cut costs come after the firm made heavy losses last year. 

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