The sixth strike within the past few weeks by Lufthansa’s pilots took place last week, whereby this time cargo flights were the victim instead of passengers.
However, the company managed to bring in other pilots to carry out the twenty-one cargo flights which otherwise would have had to be cancelled. So the pilot’s union VC Cockpit missed completely its targets. But, LH is faced with further costs as the freighters remain almost for two on the ground.
We all know that the only good aircraft is “one which is flying.”
Enough is enough!
Both LH management and the pilots union (VC) remain at loggerheads as to whether agreement can be reached on the “simple“ issue of whether they (pilots) can hold to their present early retirement benefit - or not.
How can it be that such a small portion of the company, backed by an even smaller union, who may be right or wrong with their demands, can hold the company and more importantly, it’s ten thousands of passengers to ransom at short notice.
It would seem that the union does not really want to come to an agreement and is maybe happy that members go along with them, thereby keeping the union alive.
Whether this is true or not, remains a matter of individual opinion.
Fact is that six strikes have cost the company dearly financially, but more importantly, they have lost the confidence of the travelling public.
Booking short and long haul flights on LH has become something of a lottery for the travelling public.
“Will they operate or not?” That’s the question constantly raised by Lufthansa passengers but also forwarding agents and shippers because their goods might strand in case of a pilot’s walkout on short notice.
But what is it all about?
Lufthansa has set a cost saving program into motion with what they term as the way forward to keep the company afloat and competitive during the coming years.
On the face of it all, it seems that most of the company employees are pulling along with this in the hope that job security will remain for most of them.
Why then, not the pilots?
Can it be because when they can back out into early retirement at the age of 55, they are still eligible to fly with other Middle and Far East carriers until they are well over the age of sixty? Many do, as data prove.
The best of both worlds for them - benefits from LH and salaries from a possible new employer who ironically probably is one of the carriers who are LH’s top competitors today.
No problem! - if they wish to and can fly on, nobody will hold it against them.
However, to continue holding the company to ransom in this way is “not the name of the game.”
A permanent solution has to be found very quickly and as much as we all respect the guys sitting in the front seat, they have to come back to reality and not mess up the future of many of their other colleagues.
So - sit around that table and discuss and come to terms as professionals and not be seen by those who you transport around the world as being spoilt kids.
John Mc Donagh
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