Union representatives agreed to the plan which affects an estimated 12,000 cabin employees.
Passengers no longer throng the airports, forcing airlines, like Lufthansa, to look into cost cutting measures
Facing a slumping economy and plummeting passenger traffic, Germany’s flag airline Lufthansa announced on Thursday that they would reduce the working hours of some 12,000 cabin employees.
In doing so, the airline has put off awaited job cuts that could have affected as many as 3,000 of the airline’s 54,000 employees. The plan will be retroactive, taking effect from Nov. 1 and most likely lasting until April 30, 2002, said a company spokesman.
Ver.di, the union representing most of Lufthansa’s cabin personnel, agreed to the plan on Wednesday, said an airline spokeswoman, but negotiations were continuing.
The union and the airline had been negotiating ways to deal with the damaging effects the Sept. 11 attacks and the bad economy have had on the airline industry world wide. Lufthansa announced it planned to cut DM430 million and said that all of its employees would have to either reckon with a 10 percent pay cut or face job cuts as soon as the beginning of December.
In its negotiations with ver.di and the pilot’s union, Vereinigung Cockpit, Lufthansa pointed out that many other airlines had already dropped employees. Lufthansa has avoided that fate so far.
It has managed to cut costs by dropping marginal routes and idling 43 aircraft. The airline has also added a $16 surcharge per round trip flight to improve security measures, including strengthened cockpit doors and background checks on employees.