Flight attendants plan nationwide strike on friday

Flight attendants plan nationwide strike on friday

The stewardesses and stewards had massively extended their walkout today and cancelled far more than 300 flights. Over 43,000 passengers had to be rebooked on later aircraft or were unable to fly at all.

The chaos at the strike-stricken airports of frankfurt, munich and berlin, however, was limited. According to a spokesman, lufthansa was able to inform half of the affected passengers by text message and canceled flights earlier.

Baublies said: "we have now proven that we can strike."But lufthansa has not moved. After a two-day break on wednesday and thursday, the flight attendants are now planning the first full-scale strike on friday. Only if lufthansa agrees to arbitration without preconditions will the union give it up. A lufthansa spokesman said that the door to talks was open, but that no agreement had been reached in the past on the subject of arbitration.

Lufthansa spokesman klaus walther called the union’s threat completely exaggerated. "This will not be a good day for germany as a business location," he told rbb television. "We have made an offer, both on the subject of pay and on the subject of working conditions, exclusion of redundancies, exclusion of temporary work – all the contentious issues and we urge ufo to return to the negotiating table"."

Walther told the phoenix station that flat-lining, all-day strikes would primarily affect customers, but would also put the company in a difficult position. Ultimately, this would be to the detriment of lufthansa’s reputation. "If this is used as a test of strength, it will hurt every single one of us at the end of the day."Lufthansa must create modern production structures in order to keep up with the competition.

Ufo demands five percent wage increase, end to contract labor and protection against outsourcing of jobs. Lufthansa offers 3.5 percent wage increase, but plans to set up a low-cost subsidiary within the group.

Lufthansa and its passengers are already spurring the second wave of strikes on tuesday much more violently than the opening one last friday, when 190 flights were canceled. According to lufthansa, 217 take-offs and landings were canceled at the frankfurt hub alone on tuesday. Half of the short- and medium-haul flights scheduled during the strike and one in three intercontinental flights were cancelled. More than 100 flights cancelled at germany’s second busiest airport, munich. Because the strike was expected to last until midnight, there would still be cancellations on wednesday because planes or crews were not at their departure points, a lufthansa spokesman said. The costs of the strike day ran well into millions of euros.

Passengers in the queues wavered between uproar over the strikers and understanding for their demands. "When you haven’t had a raise in three years, you’re allowed to go on strike," said passenger thomas hufnagel, who was waiting in berlin. His fellow passenger dirk dittner, on the other hand, considers the situation of the airline passengers still comfortable. He expects employees to think outside the box and pay attention to the consequences of their actions.

Baublies had described the strikes as pinpricks. Lufthansa criticized the tactic of staggered strikes and announcements as a "fist punch in the face of our customers. This is a union leadership strike against the customers," company spokesman klaus walther told the dpa news agency.

In planning the rest of the flight program, priority was given to connections to overseas destinations, and for shorter distances, guests were mainly rebooked for rail travel. "We expect a few thousand more passengers," said a spokeswoman for deutsche bahn in berlin. "If necessary, we will send more trains on the way, so far the capacities were still sufficient."

Unlike last friday, germany’s largest airport was not partially blocked by striking aircraft on tuesday. The 180 or so parking positions were used optimally, a spokesman explained. The terminals were also less busy than on the first day of the strike.


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