Lufthansa and UFO trade union settle pay dispute for about 18,000 flight attendants

LH and UFO reach agreement on the basis of the final arbitration proposal / Two sides agree on sweeping structural reform of pay system / Agreement contains wide-ranging assurances on existing rights and job protection for employees

2012-11-13 — / — Lufthansa German Airlines and the UFO flight attendants union have reached agreement to settle their pay dispute on the basis of Professor Rürup’s recommendation. Both sides have today accepted proposals to end the conflict put forward at arbitration by former government economic advisor Professor Bert Rürup. Their agreement resolves the pay dispute, which has occupied the airline since April 2012.

The issues discussed at arbitration focused on a pay agreement, profit-sharing and the commitment on both sides to negotiate the compensation structure from the arbitration procedure on 16 January 2011. The two sides negotiated on further issues parallel to arbitration. Agreements on those issues are encompassed together with the arbitration accords in the settlement now reached by Lufthansa and  the UFO trade union. The pay settlement will come into effect on 1 January 2013. This agreement will run up to 31 December 2014.

German Airlines Board Member Peter Gerber, who headed the Lufthansa negotiating commission, said: “After months of difficult negotiations, we have now reached an agreement, which takes into account the positions of both sides. For us, the sustainable ongoing development of the pay system with remuneration scales for new staff was essential in the competitive cost environment, in which we operate. Additionally, we have made sweeping concessions in terms of flexibility and productivity. In return, Lufthansa has accepted rises in salary and has made concessions in safeguarding jobs. All in all, we have come to an acceptable settlement, which makes demands on both sides, while taking due account of the interests of the employer and employees.

The accords in detail:

An increase of 100 euros for each level in the basic remuneration scale, except for flight attendants and pursers on the final level, whose basic pay will be raised by 50 euros. Additionally, all cabin staff is to receive a one-off payment of 320 euros, which equals the volume of 0.6 per cent.

The pay agreement thereby envisages an increase of 3.95 per cent in total volume in the remuneration scale. The union’s demand for abolition of the so-called preliminary pay levels for around 6,000 staff has also been taken into account in the settlement.  This will especially benefit staff on the lower pay tiers. In return, the yearly upgrade was suspended for all employees to a new level in the pay scale. Furthermore, an enhancement of productivity was agreed upon.

Agreement on a new pay scale for all staff recruited in the future will create a firm base to safeguard jobs in the cabin and secure the ongoing competitiveness of Lufthansa in the long term.

In combination with the compensation structure reform an enhanced profit-sharing was agreed upon, which can achieve at the maximum  the monthly gross pay.

The introduction of a yearly working-time model for new staff interested in seasonal employment at Lufthansa constitutes a major component towards balancing in the pay structure the seasonal fluctuations demand.

For the duration of the pay settlement, compulsory redundancies in the cabin have also been ruled out despite existing and further anticipated excess capacities.  Cabin staff underpinned this assurance by assenting in solidarity to a working-time corridor of 5 per cent.

In return for voluntary transition by cabin staff to Germanwings, which is taking over Lufthansa point-to-point traffic in future, the two sides agreed on major safeguards for the staff, especially the retention of their existing pay and maintenance rights.

“Our express thanks go to the arbitrator Professor Bert Rürup for his expertise and negotiating skills in making arbitration a success,“ said Human Resources Chief Peter Gerber. Now that the dispute has been resolved, we intend to look ahead, strengthen trust between management and staff, and pull together in matching up to the challenges of competition.”

Deutsche Lufthansa AG
Corporate Communications Lufthansa German Airlines