The cabin crew of Lufthansa (LHA) airlines is staging a strike at three German airports Tuesday in their second walkout in a 13-month wage dispute that has resulted in the cancellation of 208 flights in Frankfurt, Bloomberg Businessweek reported.
Reportedly, flight attendants were striking at Frankfurt and Berlin Tuesday morning and will stage the third strike at Munich in the afternoon, the Unabhaengige Flugbegleiter Organisation (UFO) union said in an emailed statement.
In a press release issued Tuesday, the airline stated: "The call to strike action forces Lufthansa to cancel a majority of flights. Unscheduled cancellations and delays of Lufthansa flights must be anticipated. Flights of Lufthansa Regional (CityLine, Eurowings) and Germanwings will not be affected. However, at this stage Lufthansa cannot say for sure what exact impact the strike action will have. Even after the end of the strike, Lufthansa foresees irregularities in flight operations."
The first strike walkout was staged Aug. 31 for eight hours. The strike pertains to the differences over pay increases and the implementation of wage scales as the airline implements a 1.5 billion-euro ($1.9 billion) savings program.
"We regret that it had to come to this escalation. However, the negotiations have reached a point where it left us no alternative but to strike," the union said in a statement, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.
Europe's second biggest air carrier announced plans to scrap 4,500 administration and catering jobs from its 120,000 strong global workforce. As talks between airlines management and UFO collapsed Aug.28, the union announced short-term strikes followed by walkouts.
Peter Oppitzhauser, analyst, Credit Agricole, told Bloomberg Businessweek that strike across Germany might cost Lufthansa 12 million euros ($15 million) a day.
AFP reported that passengers of Lufthansa flights would be informed of the developments by email or text message.
While the union is seeking a five percent increase in remuneration for the cabin staff for 15 months backdated to Jan. 2012, the airline had offered a salary hike of 3.5 percent, AFP added.
Fresh round of negotiation talks were expected to commence September 10, German magazine Der Spiegel reported, according to Reuters.
Investors look at an electronic board showing stock information at a brokerage house in Wuhan, Hubei province, November 2, 2009. REUTERS
Members of German air carrier Lufthansa cabin crew union "UFO" attend wage strike at Berlin Tegel airport. Reuters
A passenger sits on her suitcase in front of a Lufthansa check-in desk at Berlin Tegel airport. Reuters
A badge with the word "strike!" is pictured on a member of German air carrier Lufthansa cabin crew union "UFO" attending a wage strike at Berlin Tegel airport. Reuters
Head of Lufthansa cabin crew union Baublies poses for a picture at a strike in Frankfurt. Reuters
Members of Lufthansa cabin crew union stand at a strike post in Frankfurt. Reuters
A flight information board shows flights cancelled as members of German air carrier Lufthansa cabin crew union "UFO" attends a wage strike at the Berlin Tegel airport. Reuters
Passengers queue up at Lufthansa check-in desk at Berlin Tegel airport. Reuters