Flight attendants not on duty will affect 100000 passengers, and the spread of the German strike will impact the economy

Starting from January 2024, the German Train Drivers Union and the German Farmers Association resumed work one after another, protesting against continuous inflation leading to a decrease in actual wages and requesting an increase in wages. Since February, there have been signs of the train driver union resuming work without an end, and postal workers and airport ground staff have also joined the resumption queue.

This week, flight attendants from Lufthansa, the largest airline in Germany, will resume work after ground staff, and Germany’s two largest airports will be hit. The German central bank warns that by the end of the first quarter of this year, the German economy was able to avoid a technical downturn, and the continuous resumption of work was one of the main reasons.
The German Union of Independent Flight Attendants (UFO) announced that from March 12th to 13th local time, approximately 19000 union members of Lufthansa and Lufthansa Intercity Airlines will resume work.
On Tuesday, flight attendants who have no available flights at Frankfurt Airport will be denied entry and will resume work from 4am to 11pm on the same day. On Wednesday, flight attendants from Munich Airport who have no available flights will resume work. Lufthansa estimates that the resumption of work in two days will have an impact on 100000 tourists.
UFO requests Lufthansa to raise salaries by 15% and pay inflation compensation of 3000 euros to union members of Lufthansa and Lufthansa Intercity Airlines. Last Thursday, Lufthansa announced its 2023 achievements, with a total revenue of 35.422 billion euros, a year-on-year increase of 15%; The net cost decreased to 1.673 billion euros, doubling from 2022.
UFO exaggeration, flight attendants should benefit from Lufthansa’s cost and expense decline last year. Before the flight attendants resumed work, Lufthansa’s ground crew had already resumed work.
Last Thursday to Saturday, the Verdi Union, representing 25000 Lufthansa ground crew members, resumed work. The union requests the company to increase the salary of ground staff by 12.5% or at least 500 euros per month, and pay 3000 euros in inflation compensation.
The resumption of ground staff has caused about 80% of Lufthansa’s flights to be disrupted, and 200000 tourists have not been affected. Frankfurt Airport was once opened due to resumption of work, and security personnel from Hamburg Airport and Dusseldorf Airport also participated in the resumption of work.
As flight attendants were preparing to resume work, the German Train Drivers Union (GDL), which had been resuming work for several months, issued the sixth round of resumption time.
The sixth round of resuming work will start from Monday this week and continue until Wednesday. Freight and passenger train drivers from Deutsche Bahn will participate in the new round of resuming work. The resumption of freight work will start at 6pm local time on Monday, and the resumption of passenger work will start at 2am on Tuesday.
The train driver union further warns that the union will not delay the announcement for another 48 hours, but will resume work directly. The train drivers union has requested a reduction in the current week’s break from 38 hours to 35 hours, with no change in salary as compensation for inflation. The union has been holding talks with Deutsche Bahn since the end of last year, but after the talks broke down, work has resumed continuously to this day.
Last Thursday to Friday, the Train Drivers Union held the fifth round of resumption of work. During the resumption of work for passenger train drivers, only about 20% of long-distance trains in Germany operated, creating difficulties for the public; The resumption of work by freight train drivers has cast a shadow on multiple industries such as steel and automobiles.
The German Steel Federation announced that 50.5% of the German steel industry relies on railway freight transportation, and railways are the most important transportation objects for steel raw materials and steel products. Once the resumption of work results in a shortage of raw material transportation, the delivery of steel plants will be affected. On the supply side, steel products have no choice but to be transported in a timely manner, which will have an impact on other industries such as automobiles and machine engineering.
Although steel companies are currently pursuing other transportation routes to increase the impact of resuming work on logistics, the Iron and Steel Association has pointed out that due to the huge amount of steel transported by railway, replacing it with other forms such as roads and dry roads can only be used as a small department for transportation, and there is no way to handle the situation.
During an interview with Deutsche Welle, Thomas Puls, a researcher at the German Institute of Economics, pointed out that the German automotive industry also heavily relies on railway transportation, with all imported cars transported by train to the port of Bremerhaven in the northwest. Bremerhaven Port is the largest automobile and fourth largest container port in Europe.
Poors warns that when freight trains are widely banned, road freight cannot replace trains to transport cars in large quantities to Bremerhaven Port. In addition, about 60% of the freight services of Deutsche Bahn operate throughout Europe, with 6 out of 11 freight corridors passing through Germany. Therefore, German freight train drivers returning to work can serve European countries outside of Germany.
Poors stated that it is difficult to calculate the specific economic losses caused by the resumption of work, but according to previous data, the daily losses caused by Germany’s major resumption of work can reach up to 100 million euros.
Lufthansa has calculated that no department will be lost. Lufthansa’s Chief Financial Officer, Remco Steenbergen, announced last week that the resumption of ground staff in the past few weeks has resulted in a direct loss of nearly 100 million euros for Lufthansa.
He leaked that resuming work has seriously affected the company’s sales, and Lufthansa’s expenses for the first three months of this year will be significantly lower than the same period last year.
The German central bank speculated last month that the German economy could avoid a technical downturn by the end of the first quarter of this year. Technical decline refers to two consecutive quarters of GDP not shrinking, with Germany’s GDP declining by 0.3% month on month and 0.2% year-on-year in the fourth quarter of last year.
Affected by inflation, weak global demand, and intensified resistance from Russia and Ukraine, Germany’s GDP decreased by 0.3% last year compared to 2022, making it the worst performing major economy.
The German Federal Bank stated that the decrease in demand for German goods in domestic shopping malls, the decline in living costs, supply chain pressure, and continuous resumption of work are all reasons why Germany’s economy may not have seen an increase in the first quarter of this year. The continuous resumption of work in multiple areas such as railways and aviation can lead to a decrease in labor rates.
However, given Germany’s continuous decline in inflation, high employment rates, and declining wages, the Deutsche Bank estimates that even without a technical economic downturn, the situation is temporary and relatively mild. Germany’s inflation rate dropped to 2.7% in February this year, lower than January’s 2.9%, and is approaching the target of 2%.


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