A union representing Lufthansa's low-budget subsidiaries has said a planned strike on Thursday would now also involve employees at Germanwings. It said there was no alternative to the strike after failed negotiations.
German cabin crew and flight attendants union UFO announced Wednesday that employees at Lufthansa's low-budget subsidiary Germanwings would join a 24-hour strike action on Thursday, following failed negotiations between the union and management on some details of part-time work contracts for flight attendants.
UFO said the planned strike would affect the airports in Düsseldorf, Cologne, Dortmund, Hanover, Stuttgart, Berlin and Hamburg.
Earlier on Wednesday, UFO confirmed Lufthansa's Eurowings' strike would be on the same day. The union insisted it had offered to take the labor dispute with Eurowings to mediation to avert industrial action, but management had failed to make a decision on the matter by the morning.
In a statement, UFO's deputy chairwoman Sylvia De la Cruz noted that the union considered Eurowings refusal to be "a stalling tactic" and could therefore not avoid calling the strike. Details about which flights would be affected would be published during the course of the day, the statement added.
A spokesman for Eurowings said the company had requested the talks be adjourned until Wednesday afternoon to give it time to review the union's new mediation offer. "Therefore we find the call for a strike completely incomprehensible. We remain ready to talk at any time of the day or night," he said.
The labor dispute between Eurowings and UFO has been simmering for more than two years now. Chances for a settlement improved last week when management put forward a new offer, including an average pay increase of around 7 percent for about 400 flight staff at the carrier.
Lufthansa has been putting Eurowings through a major transformation in recent years, and has merged its operations with that of the company's other low-cost subsidiary, Germanwings.
The parent airline itself has struggled with labor disputes in recent years. Just this summer, Lufthansa management finally reached an agreement with cabin crew staff after a two year-long ordeal that impacted hundreds of thousands of passengers.
uhe,hg/jd (Reuters, dpa, AFP)