Deutsche Lufthansa cabin crew announced plans to strike later this week, extending a labor dispute that has already brought on the airline’s longest-ever disruption.
The UFO cabin crew union intends to walk out on Thursday and Friday and threatened further strike action on 30 November if Lufthansa fails to react "appropriately." Workers are prepared to continue protests over retirement benefits in December, the union said in a statement.
The union called for the strike after rejecting an invitation by the German airline to attend a so-called employment summit on 2 December along with unions representing pilots and ground crew. UFO referred to the proposal as an "affront."
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"We are very disappointed that there appears to be no willingness on the union’s part to engage in dialog," Bettina Volkens, Lufthansa’s head of human resources, said in the statement.
Flight attendants and pilots are fighting Chief Executive Officer Carsten Spohr’s efforts to overhaul Lufthansa and develop the Eurowings division into a low-cost arm to compete with rivals such as Ryanair Holdings Plc and EasyJet Plc. Lufthansa canceled almost 5,000 flights during a week-long walkout by flights attendants earlier this month.
Lufthansa has declined to estimate how much the flight attendants’ strike has cost. A parallel dispute with pilots that led to 12,800 cancellations over an 18-month period amounted to a financial hit of €352 million.
News by Bloomberg, edited by Hospitality Ireland