The ETF has recently learned of the creation of a new entity within the Lufthansa Group, Eurowings Discover. The new airline was initially due to acquire 11 long-haul aircraft based in Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich, but now the company is also growing its fleet to include short-haul operations, which are likely to compete directly with or replace the services of other Lufthansa Group brands.
While the group is creating this new brand, there are significant job losses across the Lufthansa Group, including the complete closure of the Germanwings operation in April 2020, a third of the workforce in Eurowings, 22,000 jobs in Lufthansa, 650 workers in Austrian, and many more to come across the network.
We understand that Eurowings Discover has opened up recruitment for the creation of 600 jobs, but LHG workers are being required to undergo new assessments and are being offered inferior salaries and working conditions. All of this points to Lufthansa’s aim to use cheaper workers and other flags of convenience practices to reduce labour and other costs to the detriment of workers.
A reduction of labour standards can lead to a reduction in safety and operational standards as has been proven in the past at varying degrees of severity.
There’s no need for this to happen, though. Instead, Lufthansa can take a conscious decision to ensure a fair and sustainable recovery of the Lufthansa Group and, crucially, to protect its workers’ jobs and standards of work.
The ETF and its affiliates call on the Lufthansa Group to ensure that their respective brands will engage in social dialogue with our affiliated unions with immediate effect if this does not currently exist in a coherent and permanent fashion.
Both workers and employers need to come out of this crisis together. Therefore, we must engage in social dialogue early to ensure the smooth creation of any new entities and the transition through any necessary change processes with fairness and openness at the core of such discussions.
Our letter to Chairman, Mr. Carsten Spohr can be found here.