Lufthansa agrees pay deal with ground staff, attention now on pilots, cabin crew

Lufthansa has reached a deal with its ground staff, a week after a costly strike that forced it to cancel virtually all its flights from its main hubs.  

The German flag carrier said it has agreed significant pay increases for around 20,000 ground staff. Management said they hoped the deal would show that they are ready to reach deals in upcoming pay negotiations with pilots and cabin crew.  

The deal with union Verdi rules out any further strikes by ground staff, who work in roles from check-in to maintenance and aircraft push-back. However, pilots have held a vote in which they overwhelmingly said they would be prepared to strike. 

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“We have agreed large salary increases,” commented Deutsche Lufthansa head of HR Michael Niggemann. “It was important that those on lower pay received an over-proportional increase. This means we are meeting our social responsibilities to employees and ensuring our attractiveness as an employer.”  

Verdi said for example, that a check-in employee would now receive a pay increase of between 13.6-18.4% and welcomed the fact that Lufthansa dropped a proposal to link pay increases to company performance.  

“This deal compensates for rising inflation and also comprises an increase in pay in real terms. It was important for us to achieve this balance, in order to provide support for employees in these economically difficult times,” said Verdi chair Christine Behle.  

Under the deal agreed with union Verdi, staff will receive pay increases, staggered over an 18-month period. They will receive a fixed amount of €200 euros per month, backdated to July 1, 2022. Then they will receive a 2.5% pay increase from January 1, 2023, with a minimum increase of €125, plus another 2.5% from July 2023.  

For those on salaries of €2,000 a month, that’s equivalent to a 19.2% pay rise over the course of the 18-month contract, Lufthansa said. Staff on €6,500 a month will see increases of 8.3% under the deal.  

The pay deal now has to be approved by members.

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