Creating perspective for collective bargaining

In the field of collective bargaining the financial year 2011 saw the signing of sustainable agreements between the Air Transport Employers’ Federation and the trade unions responsible for different sections of the workforce. Wage negotiations with cockpit staff and the search for solutions to structural challenges at small and highly competitive sites were two areas of particular focus.

Staff costs Lufthansa Group (bar chart)

The previous year the Air Transport Employers’ Federation and the trade union ver.di had signed wage agreements for ground and cabin staff that remained in force until 31 December 2011. Pay negotiations for the following period began in January 2012 and have in some cases already been completed, see “Supplementary report”.

The Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union (VC) ushered in the 2011 round of collective bargaining for cockpit staff by terminating the wage agreement with due notice as of 31 March 2011. An agreement had already been reached by June. In addition to pay increases, the discussions focused on making the operating margin the revenue-neutral basis for the profit-share payment. This meant that the profit-sharing schemes for all staff groups (ground, cabin, cockpit) were standardised according to uniform principles.

Operating margin* for the Group and the business segments in %




in pts


Operating result/revenue.

Passenger Airline Group




Lufthansa Passenger Airlines












IT Services












The overall package for the cockpit wage settlement 2011 included new agreements on the management of the Airbus A330 and A340 fleet, on the management of the Bremen Flight School, as well as guidelines on selecting aircraft pilots. Particularly noteworthy is the wage agreement for the management of the A330 and A340 fleet, which for the first time has given Lufthansa the option of recruiting trained, “ready-entry” pilots for these wide-body models under certain conditions. These new collective agreements resolve what have been the main areas of conflict in recent years by means of pragmatic compromises and lay the foundations for Lufthansa’s continued growth in the years to come.

The period since the last wage agreement for cabin staff, which was signed in January, was used to discuss urgently needed structural adjustments to payscales and steps to improve competitiveness in European traffic with the collective bargaining partner Unabhängige Flugbegleiter Organisation (UFO). Lufthansa and UFO agreed on the general outlines, but a final agreement could not be reached in 2011.

A socially acceptable solution to dealing with structural changes was found for ground staff at the sites in Bremen, Hanover, Nuremberg and Cologne in the reporting year. To achieve a competitive target structure for the Lufthansa Group, a set of measures with immediate effect was agreed with the collective bargaining partners to increase efficiency and to phase out various station services. Partial retirement agreements, severance packages and support with job transfers within stations and to other sites or to the cabin are intended to increase fluctuation.

The agreed solution puts an end to an intense debate about the future of staff at decentralised stations and does justice to employees’ interests in job security and future prospects as well as to the necessity for the Company to improve its competitiveness.

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