Lufthansa’s main union has called a new national strike for Friday among the airline’s cabin crews seeking better pay and conditions.
It follows Tuesday’s stoppage – the second in a week – that saw hundreds of flights cancelled at Berlin, Frankfurt and Munich.
The UFO union wants a five percent pay rise and guarantees against outsourcing and the use of temporary workers.
“All of us have to work. And all of us have to deal with working conditions that are more or less fair. We even sometimes suffer under a situation that it is not always fair. That’s why I completely understand the strikers. But I think it always goes in the wrong direction – the customers suffer, that’s bad,” said one passenger in Berlin.
Tuesday’s strike affecting three main cities was a step up from last week’s action that hit only Frankfurt but left 26,000 passengers stranded.
The call for a national walkout on Friday threatens seriously to escalate the dispute.
“We have lost millions of Euros. Even the announcement of a strike causes damage – because of cancelled bookings. Of course we are going to check every possible way of bringing the strike under control. Our legal department is checking this, but at the moment I can’t say anything specific,” said Lufthansa spokesman Klaus Walther.
Talks broke down a week ago in a dispute that has rumbled on for over a year. Lufthansa says it will not improve its offer to raise pay by 3.5 percent in exchange for longer hours.