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UFO union threatens with new Lufthansa strikes

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

UPDATE: UFO and Lufthansa have now agreed to negotiations, on the terms of possible pay rises. Discussions will be held on the 27th and 28th of November.

The union that protects the rights of airline staff in Germany, called UFO (Unabhängige Flugbegleiter Organisation), is now threatening with more industrial action if Lufthansa ignore their demands for higher wages. This comes after both parties had previously agreed to a compromise subsequent to strikes by the subsidiary airlines Eurowings, Germanwings, Sun Express Germany and Lufthansa City Line.

In the past, Lufthansa has continuously suffered from threats of industrial action resulting in some flight delays and cancellations. Strikes took place last April as well as in early November. A new strike could mean more cancellations and even more frustrated passengers.

If confirmed, when would the Lufthansa strike happen?

Possible new strikes to Lufthansa flights

UFO announced that if the industrial action were to go ahead, the strikes could happen during Christmas, one of the most popular times of the year for travelling. The threat made towards Lufthansa entails cabin crew demanding higher wages, which Lufthansa refuses to accept.

Lufthansa already tried to stop previous strikes through court action

Before the previous incident earlier this month, the airline attempted to stop the strike through court action, branding the strike as ‘illegal’. However, Frankfurt’s court of labour overruled the attempt and made way for the industrial action that eventually resulted in 1300 cancelled flights.

What are my rights if my flight were to be affected by a strike?

If your flight schedule has been disrupted due to industrial action then you are protected under Regulation EC No 261/2004. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has stated previously that industrial actions are not to be considered an extraordinary circumstance in every case. This means that if your flight has been delayed or cancelled because of a crew strike you may be entitled to compensation.

Regardless of if your flight grants you the right to be compensated, you are entitled to care from the airline. This should be offered to you in the form of:

  • Meals and refreshments
  • Means of communication (phone call, email etc.)
  • Hotel accommodation in case of an overnight stay
  • Refund for all expenses that have occurred due to the strike (keep all receipts)

Please note, however, that courts in Germany have determined that Lufthansa is not liable in Germany for industrial action taken by crew members.

What if my flight will be cancelled due to crew industrial action?

If your flight is cancelled you are entitled to a full refund of the ticket if you’ve decided not to fly with the airline anymore or if they have not offered you a replacement flight. If you have been notified of your flight’s disruption less than 14 days prior to the departure day, you may also be entitled to receive monetary compensation of up to €600 (around £530). Conditions apply so check here if you are eligible for compensation.

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