Germany braces for first Lufthansa strike in 13 years
Thursday, 31 July 2008

REUTERS, BERLIN- A strike over wages by ground crew and cabin staff at Deutsche Lufthansa is expected to cause disruptions at Germany's 10 largest airports on Monday after a key union voted overwhelmingly to walk off the job.

The Verdi union, which represents 52,000 air industry workers, planned to start the strikes at midnight (2200 GMT) -- but would not reveal in advance where the walkouts would happen to prevent the airline from making plans to thwart the impact.

Union officials said that the unlimited strike, the first in 13 years at Lufthansa, would affect all areas -- from catering and cargo to maintenance and repair staff. Some 91 percent of union members voted to strike, Verdi said on Friday.

"The starting times will be staggered," said Verdi's chief negotiator Erhard Ott. Frankfurt, Munich, Berlin, Hamburg, Duesseldorf, Stuttgart, Nuremberg, Hanover, Leipzig and Bremen airports would be affected, the union said.

Verdi, which has lost influence since the last Lufthansa strike in 1994, wants a 9.8-percent pay increase for one year. Lufthansa, Europe's second biggest airline by passenger numbers, is offering 6.7 percent over 21 months and a one-off payment.

Lufthansa has said it will have to see where the strikes happen before deciding how many domestic and international flights will be cancelled. It has said it hopes to juggle non-striking staff to limit the impact of the strike.

In view of heavy criticism from political and industry leaders, the union is expected to stop well short of an all-out walk out on Monday and instead opt for targeted strikes.

Comments Add New
arlene |2008-08-06 00:45:11
i just hope this big trouble will be solved as soon as posible as many people, business are paralys. and soon enough the economy of deutchland will suffer. and at the end of the day they will create a terrible impact for the country...
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