ITF union alliance responds to Lufthansa Technik cost cutting

August 18, 2017

Union protest in 2016 at LHT Hamburg against restructuring measures.

Trade unions representing workers at Lufthansa Technik (LHT) have called for ‘true social dialogue’ to find solutions to their fears that the company’s comprehensive restructuring process threatens the future of thousands of workers and their families.

The ITF Lufthansa Technik trade union alliance issued a strongly-worded statement (see full text below) on 18 August in reaction to news that LHT is going to restructure its German line maintenance operations – which employs around 4,000 workers – in a bid to secure cost savings of 25 percent.

Robert Hengster from the German union ver.di said: “The problem is that we see a deterioration of wages and employment conditions. Workers should get their fair share. We can’t accept conditions for Lufthansa Technik workers getting worse and worse at a time when the company has consolidated its position as a world market leader.”

Here is the alliance’s statement:

“Lufthansa Technik (LHT) Trade Union Alliance is taking into serious consideration what’s happening in several countries across the world, but particularly, across Europe in the frame of a comprehensive restructuring process at the moment.

“The future of thousands of Lufthansa Technik workers and their families are at stake. The global LHT workforce faces more and more a working environment marked by stress, irregular working patterns and wage levels.

“Additional plans to transfer activities in the areas of engine overhaul as well as line maintenance from one location to another do not put the employees at ease either, because in most cases, these plans only lead to further redundancies in practice.

“On the other hand, on March 2017, at a press conference, the Chairman of the Executive Board of LHT, Dr. Johannes Bussmann said: ‘In 2016, we have cemented our position as the leading provider in our industry. At the same time, we were able to make important preparations for future growth’.

“We would also like to point out a recent report issued by Boeing entitled, ‘2017 Pilot and Technician Outlook’. The report expects demand for 648,000 new commercial airline maintenance technicians between 2017 and 2036. In the face of this figure, it is crucial that as the leading global MRO provider LHT top management recognize that the core asset of LHT is the skills, expertise and goodwill of employees. These are not an asset to be traded like a commodity, and nor should their security and working conditions be undermined.

“Civil Aviation Sections of the ITF as well as its European-arm the ETF and the Lufthansa Technik Trade Union Alliance stand together in solidarity across borders. We will challenge and resist unilateral outsourcing, offshoring, wage cuts and job cuts.

“We call for a true social dialogue at company level and at group level in order to find solutions. In line with the basic principles of the International Labour Organisation we believe that socially responsible companies can ensure both the long-term viability of the enterprise itself and employment stability for workers.”

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