Lufthansa and Unabhängige Flugbegleiter Organiation (UFO) have reached an agreement on growth and the safeguarding of existing jobs on Lufthansa routes with a high proportion of leisure travellers.
Lufthansa had previously announced its intention to continue operating as many as 14 A340-300 aircraft with a cabin layout optimised for leisure travel.
This is subject to the condition that cost reductions of 20 per cent can be achieved with all stakeholders.
These cost reductions in cabin staff were agreed upon by UFO early this morning.
The concept entails having no First Class and just 18 Business Class seats, making it possible to reduce the number of flight attendants on these flights while maintaining the same standard of service.
In addition, there will be a new purser position who will be involved in the service routines on all A340-300 flights.
This agreement also applies to subsequent models of the Airbus A340-300in Lufthansa’s long-haul fleet.
“This accord will enable us to fly competitively again and achieve growth, even on particularly price-sensitive routes with a high proportion of leisure travellers,” said Bettina Volkens, chief officer corporate human resources, Deutsche Lufthansa.
The collective bargaining partners also agreed on an outline for creating new, low-cost platforms within the Lufthansa Group under the WINGS umbrella.
Initially, they intend to focus on a comparative study of this segment taking into account the market environment.
Lufthansa and UFO were also able to agree upon a roadmap for further talks aimed at renegotiating the retirement benefit systems.
Together, the collective bargaining partners want to redesign the retirement and transitional benefit systems and put them on a sound footing for the future.
This will entail switching from a defined benefit to a defined contribution system, i.e. in the future it will no longer be the amount paid-out that is guaranteed, but rather an agreed upon sum of capital that earns a market return.
Employees should generally be able to obtain the same level of benefits as today; at least if they set their own contributions accordingly.
Details of the funding arrangements will be the subject of future negotiations.
In addition, all cabin staff should continue to have the opportunity to retire early from flight service.
An extension of the annualised working-hours model and other seasonal working patterns were also agreed upon, which should enable Lufthansa to respond to seasonal fluctuations in demand in the future.
In return, Lufthansa gave assurances that, for a defined period, it would continue to work without temporary external staff.
The important agreements reached last night are intended to form the basis for further negotiations on various collective bargaining topics as part of what is known as the “Cabin Agenda.”
Volkens added: “We are pleased that we can continue talks in a constructive manner and in the interest of our employees.
“It shows that we and UFO are capable of fleshing out sustainable wage settlements and thus safeguarding long-term growth and employment at Lufthansa German Airlines.”