Airline company Lufthansa is still dealing with air crew union UFO, in an attempt to come to an agreement on a number of points by November. The talks have been going on for some time, but meeting a November deadline seems unlikely. Whether or not the union will strike remains to be seen.
The most recent offer, which was not met with enthusiasm by the union, was made in the middle of October. The airline maintains that low interest rates have made paying pensions more expensive, a cost which totaled about $4.19 billion in 2014. As such, they have been trying to make cuts to reduce that strain. The most recent offer would require workers to retire at 65 to receive their full pension, but they could take a smaller pension if they retired at 55, the current age. They also offered all air crew a one-time 2,000 euro bonus. Finally, they stated that anyone employed since at least 2012 would receive a 1.7% pay raise in 2016 and again in 2017.
Those might seem like reasonably generous offers, especially to Americans, but the union says that the company has, once again, missed the point. The union maintains that there are important job security issues as stake, which are sticking points for them and which the new offer fails to address. They are still going through the new offer, but it seems unlikely they will accept. At the same time, the union has stated they aren’t going to negotiate anymore.
That could change, as despite the union complaints, they seem unwilling to strike, despite almost doing to last summer. The longer negotiations were an attempt to prevent a strike. Meanwhile, Lufthansa has faced 12 strikes by pilots in the last 18 months alone. UFO probably wants to keep people working as much as possible during the negotiations. A strike, though perhaps a stronger tool, would certainly interrupt the discussions.