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Call for Lufthansa strike on Wednesday, flight delays and cancellations expected
One of Lufthansa's main unions has called on the airline’s ground staff to strike on Wednesday over a pay dispute. The action could result in "delays and cancellations" amid an already tense period for aviation in Europe, reports RTBF.
The Verdi union has called a strike from Wednesday morning at 3.45 to Thursday at 6.00 "to increase pressure" on management in its demands for a 9.5% wage increase, according to a statement.
Lufthansa, one of Europe’s leading air transport groups, has not yet provided information on the impact for passengers. Airline travellers already face long queues at airports and flight cancellations, due to staff shortages.
Thousands of flights already cancelled this summer
Lufthansa has already cancelled some 6,000 flights this summer, causing severe disruption for holiday departures. Germany’s largest airport Frankfurt has lightened its flight schedule to "further stabilise air operations".
The one-day walkout on Wednesday concerns ground staff, in particular maintenance personnel, as well as operators of aircraft tow vehicles, all essential for the proper functioning of the airport.
“There will be many cancellations and delays,” Verdi announced. "The situation at the airports is degenerating and employees are increasingly under pressure and overloaded due to a major lack of staff, high inflation and the absence of a raise in three years," said manager Christine Behle.
Since the lifting of health restrictions at the start of the year, airlines and airports have struggled to meet the increasing demand for travel after two years of sluggish traffic when the sector lost many employees.
More than 7,000 employees are currently lacking in the German airline sector, according to a study by the economic institute IW, published at the end of June. "Many of these employees have sought work in other branches" and "now they lack to meet the increase in demand," it explained.