Lufthansa has a great commercial poking a bit of fun at the stereotypical German character trait of punctuality in a way that effectively sells the brand–
But seeing that Lufthansa has dealt with more than a dozen strikes over the last year, perhaps that commercial should include snippets from this apology from ex-CEO Christoph Franz:
A strike was narrowly delayed last week, but there are rumblings that holiday travel this year will be disrupted by more work walk-outs.
I have made my viewpoint clear in the past, but for what it is worth here’s a brief look at what is at the heart of this continuing drama:
For pilots, who are responsible for most of the strikes, the most contentious issues have been creating new pay grades for workers in the carrier’s low-cost Germanwings division as well as over plans by Lufthansa to raise the early retirement age, in which workers can opt to retire early for a reduced pension. Pilots have cried foul over even modest reform efforts by Lufthansa.
Flight attendants have voiced similar demands, also strongly opposing a plan to treat new employees differently than existing workers (particularly with pensions and early retirement). Although Lufthansa has offered to give into all union demands for existing FAs, an agreement has not been reached because the FA union has insisted future employees be treated the same.
All sides are at an impasse and while it seems almost comical to post every few weeks that Lufthansa is having another strike, the Middle East carriers are continuing to grow stronger and many Lufthansa FAs and pilots may one day find themselves not only fighting over early retirement, but for their jobs…
BTW, can anyone spot the “error” in the commerical above? Hint: this should be eaisier to Starwod fans.