Due to Corona, Lufthansa is further downsizing its operations in the winter. Over the weekend, Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr announced to his employees renewed cost-cutting measures and the shutdown of 125 aircraft. Up to 29,000 jobs could be affected worldwide, and negotiations with the staff representatives of flight attendants, pilots and ground staff are underway.
According to Spohr, there is currently not nearly enough work for the remaining 100,000 employees. Short-time working has been ramped up again, with administrative staff initially working on maximum short-time until the end of February 2021, while cabin staff are expected to be on short-time for the entire coming year. The company had already confirmed in September that around 27,000 jobs would have to be cut, preferably through part-time work and voluntary departures, but also through compulsory redundancies. A large proportion of these are likely to be cabin crew.
In August, cabin crews and their union, UFO, were the only occupational group to have signed a long-term restructuring collective agreement. The approximately 22,000 flight attendants will face zero pay raises, additional part-time work and suspended pension benefits. In return, according to UFO, there will be employment protection until the end of 2023. However, important details on the exact structure are still open.
In August, the airline had only reached a short-term agreement with the pilots' union - Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) - to deal with the Corona crisis. This agreement applies to pilots at Lufthansa, Lufthansa Cargo, Lufthansa Aviation Training and some of the Germanwings pilots. According to the agreement, the top-up for short-time allowances was reduced, as were employer contributions to the pension fund. An already agreed pay increase is also to be postponed to the coming year, but the Group will refrain from compulsory redundancies until the end of March 2021. From 2022, however, at least 1,100 pilot jobs are at risk, it is now said.
For the third major group of employees, ground staff, the trade union Ver.di is negotiating with Lufthansa, so far without results. Independently of the negotiations on reconciliations of interests and social plans for redundancies for all occupational groups, Lufthansa is aiming to agree crisis packages with the collective bargaining partners that will limit the number of redundancies required.
Cologne-based law firm Seitz also assists Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof in the protective shield proceedings and is accordingly experienced in large-scale crisis-related restructurings and the associated job cuts. Lufthansa is relying on Seitz for the first time in this large-scale restructuring.