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Cars and TransportationGermany

Lufthansa, Verdi union reach deal for ground staff

March 27, 2024

The agreement means an end for now to mass strikes of ground personnel that had paralyzed German airports. Earlier strikes caused mass cancellations of Lufthansa flights.

Flight cancelations at Frankfurt Airport amid a ground staff strike
Earlier strikes by ground personnel posed a nightmare for travelers in Germany Image: Boris Roessler/dpa/picture alliance

The airline Lufthansa and Verdi labor union reached a wage deal on Wednesday for ground staff at German airports, averting potential Easter holiday strikes.

The union had been demanding a 12.5% wage increase for about 25,000 ground workers, in addition to an inflation compensation bonus of €3,000 ($3,250), while the airline had only been offering 10%.

Precise details of the deal are expected on Thursday, but chief union negotiator Marvin Reschinsky said: "We are very satisfied with result of the mediation."

Lufthansa says 'good compromise' achieved

Lufthansa human resources director Michael Niggemann said the airline was also satisfied with a "good compromise with substantial wage increases," but warned that "big investments lie ahead of us."

German strikes hurting economy and travelers alike

After months of strike action at German airports which saw the mass cancellation of flights, the two sides had been locked in behind-closed-doors negotiations since Monday, moderated by the Thuringia State Premier Bodo Ramelow and head of the Federal Employment Agency Frank-Jürgen Weise.

The aim of the mediation was to avert strike disruption over the four-day Easter holiday this weekend.

The Lufthansa-Verdi agreement comes after Germany's rail operator Deutsche Bahn reached a pay and conditions deal with train driver's union GDL, averting further strikes in the railway sector.    

mf/wd (Reuters, dpa)