German airline Lufthansa and its independent flight attendant union UFO have agreed to a concession package designed to help the airline through the crisis.
The package contains measures worth more than half a billion euros to deal with the economic effects of the crisis.
The UFO flight attendant union is the largest professional group of Deutsche Lufthansa AG. Lufthansa has 22,000 flight attendants (cabin attendants).
Lufthansa flight attendants crisis package agreement
The package includes:
- Suspension of pay increases.
- Reduction of pay.
- Temporary reduction of contributions to company pensions.
- Employment will be secured for the duration of the coronavirus crisis.
Furthermore, both parties have agreed on a package of voluntary measures and severance programs, which include:
- Unpaid leave.
- Voluntary measures to further reduce working hours, and
- Retirement benefit concessions.
Michael Niggemann, Board Member for Human Resources and Legal Affairs at Deutsche Lufthansa AG said,
“This conclusion is an important signal for our employees, for our shareholders and for tomorrow’s extraordinary general meeting. In this way, we want to avoid redundancies in the Lufthansa cabin due to operational reasons. We also see this degree as a sign of a regained and constructive social partnership with the UFO.”
UFO flight attendant union comment
Nicoley Baublies, UFO flight attendant union negotiator commented,
“The conclusion that has now been reached for the cabin employees of Deutsche Lufthansa brings the urgently needed job security. In the current crisis, such contributions, which mean safety but also cuts for every cabin employee, will hopefully lead to a clear approval of the federal government’s rescue package at tomorrow’s general assembly. The coming months will be very challenging for us as social partners. With this package and the other solutions we have found together, we are finally putting our social partnership on a new footing. ”
German government rescue package
As Nicoley Baublies pointed out, the UFO flight attendants are hoping that their cooperation with concessions will help the planned German government 20% stake in Lufthansa move forward. The government also wants the option of buying an additional 5% stake in the airline, should there be a hostile takeover bid.
Lufthansa’s shareholders back bailout
Deutsche Lufthansa AG held a shareholder meeting today, where a majority of the shareholders agreed to the German government bailout.
Lufthansa shares (LHAG.DE) jumped as much as 20% on the day of the agreement after its top shareholder dropped his objections to the 9 billion euro ($10 billion) government bailout.
Lufthansa’s top shareholder is billionaire investor Heinz Hermann Thiele. He had recently increased his stake in Lufthansa to 15.5%.
Prior to the shareholder meeting, Thiele commented to the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper,
“I will vote for the proposal.”
EU approval and Ryanair’s Lufthansa-objection
On a separate note, a senior Ryanair executive said the airline will challenge the European Commission’s (EU) approval of German rival Lufthansa’s bailout.
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