It has been some time since the various staff of Lufthansa went on strike and it’s finally that time again when the next round of strikes is coming up, this time the flight attendants are up in arms again.
The announced strike is affects flights staffed with crew at both Frankfurt and Munich airport for departures between 6:00am and 11:00am.
So far Lufthansa hasn’t published any updates or remote information for passengers about this announced strike and it’s unknown in what way it will affect passengers this coming Sunday. The website doesn’t show a glimpse about it.
Press reports in Germany show that it’s a multi layered issue not exclusively about the 1.8% pay increase for flight attendants but also the legitimacy of the various unions (Spartengewerkschaften) representing fractions of different Lufthansa staff. Lufthansa argues that this particular union UFO doesn’t have a legitimate standing to represent the flight attendants in principle.
The following video of the union (UFO – In German) was posted to Youtube a couple of hours ago:
Of course this includes many union talking points but the essence is that the leadership accuses Lufthansa of intimidation tactics and trying to undermine the unions on the expense of the shareholders and passengers, rather accepting lengthy and costly strikes than making concessions and accepting the legitimacy of the various unions.
According to this Handelsblatt article from August Lufthansa indeed refuses to accept the leadership of the UFO e.V, union saying it has no legal standing to represent members as their members of the board aren’t properly registered.
A German court has then decided to formally register two members of the leadership but amidst union infighting, accusation of corruption and legal issues Lufthansa still refuses to accept UFO as a functioning and legitimate entity at this point.
Where does this leave the customer?
In short, right now nobody knows and we will have to monitor the situation and keep updating our readers with further developments.
In the past Lufthansa published emergency schedules and proactively cancelled flights several days in advance. At this moment they don’t even seem to acknowledge the strike. Not all Lufthansa flight attendants are represented by UFO and it’s also unclear how many of them are actually going on strike at all.
If a strike does occur then Passengers are entitled to a rebooking, accommodation and in this particular case even monetary compensation per EC261/2004 per ECJ ruling. When flights are cancelled less than 14 days prior to departure even in event of a strike or wildcat strike airlines are liable for compensation. In this case it’s under a week.
Should you have a flight on Sunday the best recommendation at this point is to keep a close eye on media reports and the Lufthansa website. Unfortunately the window 6am-11am includes most intercontinental flights between Germany and North America as well as a whole range of continental connections including feeder flights.