Following constructive talks, which took place last night, Lufthansa and the pilot’s union Vereinigung Cockpit reached an agreement regarding all previously unresolved collective bargaining matters. In a declaration of intent, the negotiating partners agreed on forward-thinking provisions for transitional payments, pension plans, the framework agreement on employment conditions and the collective wage agreement for the pilots of Lufthansa, Lufthansa Cargo and Germanwings.
The recommendation developed in February by mediator Dr. Gunter Pleuger for the collective wage agreement formed one part of the considerations. But the new agreement has made a formal acceptance of the arbitration recommendations unnecessary. Likewise, Lufthansa will not be pursuing a previously announced plan to staff 40 newly acquired aircraft outside the group-wide collective bargaining agreement (KTV).
Over the next months, the details of the various collective bargaining agreements will have to be worked out. The agreement provides a one-off balance-sheet reduction through the conversion of the pension schemes. In return for the cost-reducing elements of the agreement, 325 aircraft will be crewed in the current KTV flight operations in stages by 2022. This will make it possible for Lufthansa to hire trainee pilots again in the coming years and create career prospects for pilots with a large number of positions for prospective captains. A reciprocal agreement to refrain from industrial action for the duration of the talks has already been reached, and is set to be formalized in a collective bargaining agreement that will last until 2022.
Dr. Bettina Volkens, Head of Legal Affairs and Human Resources at Deutsche Lufthansa AG, says: “With this declaration of intent we have finally reached a breakthrough. The path is now clear for a comprehensive settlement with Vereinigung Cockpit on all unresolved collective bargaining issues. This is not only the end of the longest collective bargaining dispute in our company’s history – it also creates a sustainable deal that will last until 2022 and, at the same time, lays the foundation for a new social partnership with the Vereinigung Cockpit. The path to this result exacted a heavy toll from everyone involved – but, in the interest of Lufthansa, our employees, customers and shareholders, it was worth it. Today, I would like to thank everyone who made this success possible. We have a lot of work ahead of us now, because we want to implement this settlement in collective bargaining agreements together with the union as quickly as possible.”