February 22: German carrier Lufthansa says that the planned four-day strike by pilots starting today could cost the airline up to €100 million and its attorneys are checking whether the Vereinigung Cockpit union’s action is legal, reports ATW News.
The strike has been called as no agreement can be reached between the union and the airline on job outsourcing. Vereinigung Cockpit claims that Lufthansa pilots agreed to significant cutbacks in 1992 in return for the airline agreeing that all aircraft with 70 seats or more would only be flown by its pilots and under Lufthansa conditions. This agreement was confirmed again in 2004, but since then the union claims that the airline is “evading” the contract through the acquisition and creation of foreign subsidiary airlines such as Lufthansa-Italia, Aerologic and Jade.
Vereinigung Cockpit also accuses Lufthansa of buying “less stable” airlines such as Brussels Airlines, Austrian, and British Midland and increasing the financial burden on the group. It is promoting the strike as it “does not want the profits generated through [the pilots’] work and contributions to weather the [current economic] crisis to be used to destroy jobs in the future”.