Lufthansa and its pilot union have been negotiating a new contract for a long time where the airline tries to change the work/retirement rules for new hires.
There have been no progress and the pilot union has announced that they plan to start striking again at moments notice.
You can access piece about this on DW’s website here of which below is an excerpt:
Since spring 2014, pilots of Germany’s flag carrier have staged strikes on 12 occasions, causing the airline a loss of more than 300 million euros ($340 million) and frustrating thousands of travelers.
“As of now, more strike action at Lufthansa, Lufthansa Cargo and Germanwings has to be expected,” Wahl said in a statement.
Negotiations have been centering on the future of an in-house early retirement scheme for 5,400 pilots and the company’s medium- and long-term strategy. The pilots’ union said management had rejected what it described as a proposal to save 500 million euros.
“When the company turns down our savings scheme it shows that management is not interested in improving market conditions, but rather in undermining tariff-based deals and outsourcing jobs abroad,” Wahl said.
At the same time, VC said it rejected Lufthansa’s plans to pay lower wages for pilots working for Lufthansa’s budget subsidiary Eurowings.
Lufthansa has not tried to change the rules for current employees but for new pilots it hires. Lufthansa pilots have very good employment terms that allow term to retire at 55 and the airline pays them the “pension” until the official one kicks in later. Many decide to continue their careers during this time with other airlines double dipping on the pay.
Let’s hope that the parties would reach an amicable solution that would end these strikes that have plagued the airline for now more than a year.
Remember that when the strike occurs the airline is not required to pay compensation per EC 261/2004 but they are required to provide care (pay for hotels and meals) and rebook the affected passengers on other airline even on other alliances. You may have to push the agent to get this done, however.