There are no longer any threats of strikes in the Lufthansa core brand. The flight attendants, the last professional group for the time being, have concluded a new collective agreement – without any industrial action.
Lufthansa sometimes goes without strikes: the group and the Ufo union have agreed on a new collective agreement for the approximately 19,000 flight attendants at the main airline Lufthansa. For career starters, salaries will rise by more than 17 percent in the coming year, while in the final stage the salary will increase by almost 9 percent, as both sides unanimously announced on Tuesday in Frankfurt.
The UFO was the only trade union for its professional group that did not go on strike at Lufthansa this year. Verdi for the ground staff and the Cockpit (VC) association for the pilots had each paralyzed the operations of Germany’s largest airline for a day. The pilots also went on strike at the subsidiary Eurowings, where the wage conflict is not yet over. Recently, however, there had been a rapprochement between the group and VC.
For the flight attendants, an additional 250 euros per month in basic remuneration has now been agreed for all levels from January 1, 2023 and 2.5 percent more from July 1. For the current year, five lump-sum one-off payments totaling 1,200 euros had already been agreed. The new salary agreement runs until at least December 31, 2023. Higher expenses and allowances have also been decided.
Season model expires
An important point in the revision of the general collective agreement was the dissolution of the “seasonal model cabin” introduced a few years ago, which stipulated a part-time quota of 83 percent for employees and a much greater use in the summer months. The approximately 2,700 people affected can now leave this model and will be included in the normal collective agreement.
Lufthansa wants to cover its higher personnel requirements in the summer with a new voluntary working time model and additional incentives. Prospects and attractive framework conditions would be offered “that take into account the needs of the cabin staff.”
According to Ufo, the lowest gross basic salaries for new stewardesses and stewards will be raised from just under 1700 euros to around 2000 euros per month, to which various expenses and allowances will then be added in the job, which will also be increased.
“With a first solid increase in remuneration after two years of crisis caused by the pandemic, we can now go through 2023, for which an upswing is forecast at Lufthansa. We are convinced that in this way valuable jobs in the Lufthansa cabin can be further promoted.” , explained UFO collective bargaining board member Stefan Schwerthelm. On the other hand, the “inflation compensation money” provided by the federal government free of taxes and duties up to an amount of 3000 euros, which could also be used in 2024, was not an issue.
Lufthansa Chief Human Resources Officer Michael Niggemann emphasized the social component of the deal. “Lower and middle salary brackets will benefit disproportionately from the agreement. This will enable us to live up to our social responsibility and ensure our attractiveness as an employer.” Lufthansa wants to significantly expand its fleet in the coming year and, according to its own statement, is constantly hiring new cabin crew.