DALLAS – Eurowings (EW) pilots have announced a one-day strike tomorrow, October 6, after talks with the pilots’ union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) failed.
The union is looking at easing the workload of its members at the German low-cost carrier by reducing maximum flight hours and increasing rest periods. Ten rounds of negotiations have been entered into but subsequently failed. Pilots had voted in favor of strike action back in August by 97.7%.
Marcel Gröls, Chairman of the Cockpit Association, said, “We are open to talks about how we can achieve reasonable working hours for Eurowings employees in the long term. So far, however, it has not been possible to agree on a common path with the employer. It is not enough to sit at the negotiating table—you also have to be willing to find a solution and not present counter-demands as an offer.”
Minimizing Passenger Impact
Meanwhile, the airline said that it expects to be able to operate “around half of its normal flight program.” It went on to say that it was doing “everything possible to minimize the impact of the strike action on passengers” and would be relying on its airline partners within the Lufthansa Group to get its customers to where they needed to be. Flights operated by Eurowings Europe (E2) will not be affected.
Management at EW has criticized the move. Kai Duve, Head of Finance and Human Resources, said, “Despite two upcoming salary increases of well over 10% in the next four months, VC is demanding 14 additional days off a year and a reduction in the maximum weekly working time by five hours.”
This additional time off would make around 20% of the airline’s current flying schedule “impossible.” Duve went on to say that the strike was “completely disproportionate and irresponsible.”
Featured Image: Eurowings Airbus A320-214 (D-AIZT). Photo: Fabrizio Spicuglia/Airways