Lufthansa workers strike demanding pay raise amid soaring inflation

Ver.di trade union demanding 9.5% pay rise to help employees deal with inflation.

Lufthansa workers strike demanding pay raise amid soaring inflation

Nearly 20,000 Lufthansa employees went on strike on Wednesday to demand a pay raise amid soaring inflation and the rising cost of living in Germany.

Ground operation crew member Carsten Eckhart told Anadolu Agency that the company’s latest offer was insufficient to offset inflation.

“There is a big crisis, growing concern about rising energy costs, gas shortages. And one cannot foresee things, how much higher the costs will be,” he said.

“Some say the increase will be as high as €500 or €600 ($509 or $611) for the year, or maybe even higher. Shopping at the supermarket is getting more and more expensive, and this worries people.”

Eckhart said he wanted Lufthansa to take employees’ concerns seriously and raise wages in keeping with the rate of inflation.

“Transport and all other prices are increasing every day, and it is also more expensive to go to work,” he said.

The Ver.di trade union is demanding a 9.5% pay rise to help employees deal with inflation, which is at its highest level in more than four decades in Germany.

The strike forced Germany’s flag carrier to cancel more than 1,000 flights in the middle of the peak travel season, adding to an already chaotic environment across Europe.

Travelers had a mixed reaction to the strike.

One passenger traveling from Berlin to Seoul, South Korea told Anadolu Agency that he supported the right for Lufthansa employees to strike to get better pay.

“If they feel they are being unfairly treated, then they should strike. I am in favor of that, of course, it affects me but I am in favor of that,” said Noam Cohen.

Another, who was waiting to board a vacation flight said: “For holidaymakers, who have been working all year long, it’s, of course, an unnecessary trouble. It might be justified for employers and employees but when I look around I see there are others who continue to work and don’t disrupt people with such a strike.”

Lufthansa said the strike has affected more than 134,000 passengers and could cause further cancelations or delays Thursday and Friday.

Another round of negotiations is expected next week in Frankfurt.

Hüseyin Demir