Vereinigung Cockpit, the german pilots union, has announced today that if talks with Lufthansa do not lead to a satisfactory outcome, pilots of lowcost subsidiary Germanwings will go on strike on Friday 29th August from 6am till midday.
This strike will have a considerable effect on flight operations to and from Germany and on domestic German flights. Germanwings is drawing up an amended timetable for the period in question.
Germanwings flights operated by Eurowings will not be affected by this strike.
In the event of a strike all flights cancelled due to the strike can be rebooked or cancelled free of charge, irrespective of the fare bracket they were booked in.
The union perspective
The pilots union says the action is concerned solely with the early retirement provision for the pilots of Lufthansa, Lufthansa Cargo and Germanwings, which should continue in the future to enable a timely exit from the particular stresses of pilots’ professional life. All contracts pertaining to this were terminated by management one year ago. Since then, management is demanding the abolishment of the early retirement provisions.
Vereinigung Cockpit is thus fighting against the deep cuts in the provision of hard fought social benefits.
The conflict is not about pilot salaries as such, although this has been frequently suggested over the past few days. The goal of the announced industrial action is the agreement on a new contract for early retirement provisions. This was communicated to management.
The discussion about salaries, in the view of Vereinigung Cockpit, serves only to distract from the actual topic of negotiation and the give the impression that the conflict is about benefit increases for the pilots. The truth is that management has made massive demands in a number of areas.