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Finally in From Frankfurt--Lufthansa Story

Finally in From Frankfurt--Lufthansa Story

May 18th, 2001, 05:11 AM
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Finally in From Frankfurt--Lufthansa Story

After several "don't worrys" from Lufthansa, I made it back to Miami. As you know Lufthansa somehow can't handle scheduled work stoppages. I feel for the pilots since they seemed to be underpaid compared to others, but I can't understand why Lufthansa puts up with work stoppages. Why not just shut down and rsolve the problem. Lastly, DO NOT believe what Lufthansa tells you if you are going to Europe on Thursday. Do WORRY or you will be stuck like we were trying to get to Frankfurt.
May 18th, 2001, 05:13 AM
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You are so right. It is so unlike Germans to put up with the scheduled strikes. Usually Germans are so efficient that this action is a mystery.
May 18th, 2001, 05:17 AM
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I agree with you but I have to tell you that I just returned from Europe on Lufthansa and my experience was perfect. We were scheduled out of Istanbul through Frankfurt on a Thursday and Lufthansa was most helpful. They did admit that they are having "problems" with the union.
May 18th, 2001, 05:52 AM
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I hadn't thought much about it but why would LH stand for such actions? It is not like the Germans no to have a grasp on everything.
May 18th, 2001, 07:45 AM
Hans H
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Yes, this is an uncommonly hard labour conrontation for German standards. I'm surprised that it came so far and I think that either someone in the LH management seriously miscalculated the mood of the pilots or that there are other motivation for the LH management to accept the confrontation. But LH can do little about it but paying the higher wages since workers have the right to strike. Strikes aren't uncommon in Germany and a normal mean of the worker/employer negotiations. But under normal circumstances, they are conducted in a way to minimize the trouble resulting from it and basically a show of strength (demonstrating that the union has the member's support strike if it wanted to).

The pilot strikes are going on for an uncommonly long time and I guess that this is a result of the pilot's union. Most union members in Germany belong to large unions which basically represent everyone for example in the service industry. But the pilots are organized in a representation which is looking purely for their interests since the pilot's interests differ to a great extend from the interests of other employees of Lufthansa.

If an union like ver.di, representing for example all union members employed by the state and many of the service industry, decided to strike, it closes down the whole of Germany. Obviously this isn't in the interest of Germany and so the union has a lot of influence on decision making processes. The unwritten deal is that it gets this influence but doesn't strike in a way which disrupts the public life. This results in an immense public and political pressure upon the unions if they decide to strike in a confrontational way. Basically everybody agrees that it is in the interest of all sides that problems are solved by consensus instead of confrontation. (For example, if there are lay-offs in large companies, they worker representatives are included in the decision making process, especially since representatives of them sit on the companies board. Or if laws affecting worker's rights are decided, the unions have an importasnt say.)

The smaller pilot's union is under less pressure from anyone but its members. Since it has the support of its members in demanding a very high salary increase, there's little anyone can do about it. But in the moment, the ground personell, which was at least officially supportive to the pilot's union, gets somewhat upset about the strikes. So the pilots are starting to catch heat, which might have consequences.
The LH on the other hand, is probably worrying about the future negotiations with the union representing the ground personell (ver.di by the way. This union is big.) and tries to avoid extreme increases of the pilot's wages since in that case the ground personell might also want high increases. But I doubt that they are interested in fighting it out with the pilots since this would result in too much customer discomfort, ultimately hurting the company.

May 18th, 2001, 01:13 PM
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I think Lufthansa is handling this well. The pilots are being unreasonable with their pay increse demands. You are correct that Germans don't put up with this sort of thig. What the Germans are not "putting up" with is the unreasonable blackmail from the pilots union. Read this article about how pilots were treated by their fellow co-workers --

There was an angry confrontation today between ground crews and caterers who shouted down hundreds of striking Lufthansa pilots.

The clash happened during the second full-day pilots' strike. Frankfurt Airport's main departure hall was disrupted when pilots trying to defend their hard bargaining tactics met with other Lufthansa unions saying the pilots were greedy.

The skirmish between the airline's unions marked the first backlash against the pilots as they try to break the German mold of moderate wage demands.

Turning up the pressure on Lufthansa late in the day, the pilots union threatened to extend the strike into Friday. But a union spokesman, Niels Stueben, said Thursday night that the union decided against an extension. There was no immediate explanation for the move.

By late afternoon, the strike forced Lufthansa to cancel 625 of its 1,100 flights.

Both sides said they would resume negotiations soon, but would not say when or where.

Dressed in their blue Lufthansa uniforms and flight caps, around two hundred pilots were confronted at Frankfurt Airport by nearly twice as many ground crew and technical staff, who shouted and clapped to disrupt the pilots' attempt to read a statement explaining their demands.

The challenge erupted into angry shouting matches as stranded and exhausted passengers looked on.

The pilots are idiots. There is an old old saying is gots like this--


in german you say it-

Scheižen Sie nicht, wo Sie essen

May 18th, 2001, 02:15 PM
Hans H
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I don't know the facts but at least the pilots state that their salary is below international standards because of voluntary salary cuts or restrictions which started about a decade ago when Luhthansa was in financial troubles. Now LH is healthy again and they want the restrictions from a decade ago reversed.

If they demand the internationally common salary for a pilot, it isn't exactly a strong argument that this would mean a high raise in comparison to a decade of earning less than other pilots.
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