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Lufthansa accommodates UFO in key aspects

Cabin crew strike averted


Lufthansa has again made concessions in key points with the Independent Flight Attendant Organization UFO to avert a strike in the interests of its customers. Negotiations will now resume based on the new offer from Lufthansa. There will be no strikes from UFO at least until mid-July.

The offer provides that Lufthansa also grants the transitional pension for new employees in the cabin crew. A realistic interest payment of 5.5 per cent on contributions will apply. Personal contributions may be required if, for example, the assumed rate of return is not achieved. The remuneration for the transitional pension for new hirees in this collective agreement is initially guaranteed for a contribution period of ten years. Following that, the negotiating parties will consult and negotiate about how to proceed based on the then present socio-political situation and the company´s economic situation. In addition, Lufthansa has offered to longer-working employees that they can use their unused transitional pension to increase retirement benefits. This is a significant improvement over the current system and allows employees to increase the performance level of company pensions in comparison to the contemporary situation.

For company pensions, Lufthansa and UFO have agreed to convert the system from a defined benefit to a defined contribution system. This change from a fixed benefit scheme in pensions, towards a defined contribution which will then pay interest on the capital market, would reduce the interest rate risks for Lufthansa with regard to pensions. Lufthansa has offered to also calculate the contributions that they provide for the pensions of the cabin staff based on a 5.5 percent yield. Upon reaching this realistic yield the current level of performance should be achieved. Otherwise, contributions from employees would become necessary.

In addition to the pension issues, in the first half of July Lufthansa will sit in a workshop with the UFO to discuss other concerns. The subject of this workshop will be job security and development measures for cabin staff and the “Alliance for growth and employment” offered by Lufthansa in February. In the process, the current competitive situation of the Group should be taken into account. Following a successful agreement arising out of this workshop, UFO has offered the prospect of completely refraining from strike action.

“We have again presented the UFO with a significantly improved offer for the conversion of retirement and transitional care to be able to return to discussion mode. I am convinced that we can arrive at a solution on this basis. We must keep the pension systems financially sustainable. At the same time we have made an offer in which the cabin staff at Lufthansa will also receive an absolute top notch pension system in the future,” said Dr. Bettina Volkens, Chief Officer Corporate Human Resources & Legal Affairs, Deutsche Lufthansa AG.

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