Lufthansa is facing “one of the biggest walkouts” in history starting Wednesday, it said, forcing the carrier to cancel a reported 3,800 flights.
According to Vereingung Cockpit, the union that represents Lufthansa pilots, employees will hold a demonstration and rally Wednesday morning at Frankfurt Airport.
The strike, which will continue through Friday, will force Lufthansa to “reduce its schedule significantly,” the carrier said on its website. The work action impacts Lufthansa cargo and passenger flights, as well as Germanwings services at every German airport.
Over the weekend, Lufthansa officials sent the union a new wage settlement proposal that included a 5.2-percent pay increase between May 2012 and December 2015. The carrier also said it is raising the age for early retirement from 58 to 61, starting in 2016.
“The original plan of linking salary increases to the company’s performance has been dropped,” the carrier said in a news release at the time. “Lufthansa has therefore accepted key demands made by VC. This offer means that the pilots would make a contribution to ensuring the group’s future viability comparable with that of other groups of employees.”
According to a press release on the union’s website, pilots aren’t striking for higher salaries, but are more concerned about the new retirement age and the abolishment of pensions.
The New York Times
reported the two parties have been negotiating over pay and early retirement benefits for months
“The pilots’ union said last week that it had offered unspecified concessions aimed at limiting labor cost increases but that the airline had not taken them seriously,” the paper reported.