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Lufthansa Pilots to ballot on strike action

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Lufthansa Pilots to ballot on strike action

Old 19th Feb 2010, 21:02
  #81 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Quite near 'An aerodrome somewhere in England'
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The so-called 'low cost airlines' are mainly responsible for the erosion of the airline pilot profession. I have nothing but total and utter contempt for them - and for the carrion who fly with such bottom-feeding 'airlines' and who think that €5 tickets to some cow pasture aerodrome in the middle of nowhere is the way ahead.

Good to see LH pilots making a stand for professional standards and quality of service. Long may they continue to do so!

One of these days the bubble will burst for the 'low cost airlines' - hopefully that day won't be too long in coming.
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Old 19th Feb 2010, 21:33
  #82 (permalink)  
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Age: 55
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This is not the problem

"The so-called 'low cost airlines' are mainly responsible for the erosion of the airline pilot profession. I have nothing but total and utter contempt for them - and for the carrion who fly with such bottom-feeding 'airlines' and who think that €5 tickets to some cow pasture aerodrome in the middle of nowhere is the way ahead."
Your problem are guys like me.
My company doesn't pay business class anymore on intra-european flights, even for managers. Because our customers refuse to pay as much for our products as they did in the past. We too need to cut costs in order to survive.
And if I do a short trip with LH on my own, I book a ticket for 99€. I'd never fly with Ryanair nor AB, but I will not accept to pay as much as I did in the past for LH tickets.

LH needs to find a way to earn money under these circumstances. If the staff insists on continuing the old game, the old rules, the company will not survive in the long term. It's as simple as that. Like it or not.
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Old 19th Feb 2010, 21:43
  #83 (permalink)  
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Well said.

This strike has much more behind than the public/pprune knows.

It's a legal force against outsourcing, LOC and short term profit thinking.
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Old 19th Feb 2010, 22:57
  #84 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2000
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Thank you Swiss Pilots!!!!!!!!!

Just heard it in an interview with a representative of the Swiss pilots union, they will not fly as strikebreakers on Lufthansa routes.

A dear Thank You towards the Alps

Last edited by Charly; 20th Feb 2010 at 09:40.
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Old 20th Feb 2010, 05:07
  #85 (permalink)  
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Most of the Swiss live north of the Alps, last time I checked...
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Old 20th Feb 2010, 05:24
  #86 (permalink)  
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Because our customers refuse to pay as much for our products as they did in the past.
As sympathetic one can be towards this argument, before it can happen there must be someone offering cheaper products!
The LCCs do so, agreed. But what mainly happened is that to continue generating a slight profit for the sleezy managers, someone had to give up something, someone had to pay the difference between real cost and the too low prices.

It is easy to see that two groups are bleeding for that:
- the employees, mainly pilots who saw their T&Cs eroding dramatically
- the tax payer through subsidies. Mainly on airport fees, but also through heavily underpriced, therefore subsidised aircraft to "save" jobs and politicians elections ....

So the SLFs insulting the pilots on this thread should think twice, or should simply start thinking about how expensive their LCC prices REALLY are, considering everything .....
This would then point the blame to the right direction!
But to ask someone to look for the big picture and to engage his brain seems a lost cause nowadays.
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Old 20th Feb 2010, 05:27
  #87 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2007
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go for it LH guys!
Keep up the T&C and save the jobs in the KTV.

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Old 20th Feb 2010, 09:41
  #88 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Mostly Western hemisphere
Posts: 266
With all due respect, I think the usual "they're spoilt, now act arrogant and should better shut up"-argument in its various forms forgets a few things about history.

What could be now considered as the "royal treatment" was just standard airline practice before. Then came the sub-standard which now claims the title of the "new world standard". OK, it's all about branding anyway... but is it really what we all want ?

How long before a sub-sub-standard shakes the foundations of the sub-standard and aims for the title of "new global standard" ? And so on... Pointless and endless.

There will always be new blood joining the industry, ready to erode the standards they never knew nor why the standard was like that before. We're all standing on the shoulders of giants (i.e. those who built this industry) but who's teaching the new comers about the wars they never had to fight and the "benefits" they're throwing away now?
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Old 20th Feb 2010, 09:42
  #89 (permalink)  
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Austrian Pilots

As well have refused to act as strikebreakers. Thank you very much!
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Old 20th Feb 2010, 10:01
  #90 (permalink)  
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A bunch of privileged employees putting up a last stand to defend the indefensible. Period. If they want democracy at LH, then they must logically also ask each and every baggage handler to have the same voice in corporate matters.
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Old 20th Feb 2010, 11:41
  #91 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Europe
Age: 10
Posts: 16
What justifies any labour agreement?

Funny discussion going on here.

Some are saying: "Go for it, LH jocks!"
Others whine over spoiled brats.
Then there's are some who are going to be stranded due cancelled flights.

But what is the essence here?
Why is any contract value justified (or not)?
Why are there 'low cost carriers' as opposed to high(?) cost carriers?

Here is my personal opinion.
The LH fight is the first of many others over a good labour contract that the EU is going to face. If they win, it is going to be really tough for BA or AF for instance to try to break this tight barrier. But if they loose it's going to be avalanche in EU for all labour agreements. Including the so called 'low cost' contracts, because they too benefit indirectly of higher paying carriers on the Continent.
Job security in EU is the highest in the world. The union strongholds made sure that this prime wish of any labourer was firmly fixed in any contract. The LH fight is mainly about job security. Not only their own jobs security, but also their job remuneration that could result in lost high(er) paid positions in the company. Most probably the ones who already hold top jobs at LH don't have to be afraid of loosing anything.
In other words: jobs would still be there, but the compensation will go South for that position over time. So today when a promotion to a larger type is simply put: more money in the bank that could change over time with the access of lower paid pilots (contracts) on LH flights or aircraft.
For one I must say I agree with the effort of trying to hold on to good conditions. Why? Low cost carriers have gone crazy over the abundance of 'zero timers' on the market having them fly for nothing at all and throwing them out after reaching like 300- 500 flight hours (that depends on airline).
The container of unemployed somewhat experienced pilots is so large that is really scary. They all carry with them an enormous training debt of like €100.000 or greater. And of course feeling being treated unfairly and being envious of LH pilots taking home €250.000 per annum or more.
But isn't the reason of those high salaries that they started flying in the first place? Isn't the high pay in industry the reason why banks still serve pilots with credit for their training? I know it is in some countries in Europe.

Now, having said that, there is, I my humble opinion, some solution in way of labour conditions adjustment that would interest LH board and, at the same time benefit all pilots, including those unemployed with a burden of debt. And that solution is raising retirement age. LH pilots are so expensive because they have a generously low retirement age although law allows them to continue fly through 65. That is costing LH a fortune.
Raising it has the nice side-effect it will affect ALL LH pilots, not only the junior jocks. And, for some of you thinking it might interfere with career options for junior and unemployed pilots when the elder stay longer: think again. The enormous money saved by LH when raising retirement age will allow LH to grow much more effectively (certainly when the crisis is over) against much lower cost and growth will benefit all pilots. Now VC will probably say differently, but for sure all pilots that hold top positions at LH today did not climb the ladder all that much as compared to looking at a huge group of their junior pilots. Simply put: since joining they jumped not more than 500 to 1000 places on their seniority list but saw the junior group multiply in LHs' growth. So growth, not retirement, dictates promotion.

Now any walk-out is bad for publicity, not only for the pilot community, but also for LH brand name. And the solution is so simple really.
Looking at that I regret the strike enormously and hope for wisdom of both parties.

Don't touch the pay, raise retirement age!

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Old 20th Feb 2010, 15:15
  #92 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: UK
Posts: 51
well it looks like Swiss pilots have refused to break the strike, Austrian pilots have done the same.

Now, BMI is going to use some of its crews to operate the strike breaking flights, even although it is make 130 pilots redundant at the end of the week - unbelievable ..........
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Old 20th Feb 2010, 15:37
  #93 (permalink)  
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Are the BMI pilots represented by BALPA?

That will be an interesting STAR Alliance meeting on the 18th of March at the IFALPA conference in Marrakech
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Old 20th Feb 2010, 16:41
  #94 (permalink)  
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Yup and as usual, are doing bugger all about it!
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Old 20th Feb 2010, 18:00
  #95 (permalink)  
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Some of our guys have LH flights on their rosters for next week, it will be a b****y disgrace if BALPA do not at least try to to do something about it. They won't of course, they never do.
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Old 20th Feb 2010, 18:12
  #96 (permalink)  
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Location: UK
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Yes, UK law is a very different animal. BALPA are not responsible for that.
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Old 20th Feb 2010, 19:11
  #97 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Zürich, Switzerland
Age: 61
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Your problem are guys like me.
My company doesn't pay business class anymore on intra-european flights, even for managers. Because our customers refuse to pay as much for our products as they did in the past. We too need to cut costs in order to survive.
Same here, but even long-haul is scrutinised. I had a trip planned to the Far East and was flying out with LH and back with LX from Dubai. The corporate travel agent called me and informed me that they had to rebook me in line with corporate guidelines and I was flying out and back with EK. The price was almost 30% cheaper. It was disappointing as I much prefer LH/LX and the flight out to Osaka took me considerably longer than originally planned (although being picked up at home with the Limo has its upsides), but I think that to complain would have been a career-limiting move in the current economic climate and the fact that the company I work for recently announced 250 redundancies.
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Old 20th Feb 2010, 19:18
  #98 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Swindon
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Low Cost Airlines

In reply to Beagle, it would appear your head really is firmly fixed in the sand....?

Let me explain, I for one, was of the belief that the whole low cost airline model was just a fad some years ago, and have been proven wrong on an annual basis. Like it or not, these guys have not been "falling out the skies" as predicted by many aviation professionals and after discussing company SOP's and general operating standards with many of their crews over the past couple of years it would appear (much to the annoyance of "legacy" crews) that the cockpit crews of these low cost airlines do a good job....

There has been a "sea change" in the way the fare paying public view air travel these days....let's face it, why for years did we pay £200+ for the likes of BA, LH & Swiss to transport us short haul (less than 2 hours) across Europe???

This "charade" went un-noticed by the flying public for many years (be this ignorance or apathy), but now that the cat is out of the bag, so to speak, the public is no longer tolerant of paying top dollar for prima donna pilots and legacy airline management to get them from a similar (note, I do not say the "same") A to B for a fraction of the cost, without additional risks....

This trend is continuing today, and the sooner the "legacy" guys wake up and realise this is a PERMANENT shift in sentiment by the public, the better....the alternative will be a "slow & lingering death" for the legacy airlines and staff.

My prediction for the next 5 years....BA (and to a lesser extent LH) management will happily sit back and let their crews carry out strike actions, driving these airlines into bankruptcy, so that management can return to "a heroes welcome" (in their warped minds at least) and re-structure these failed legacy carriers....

Let us review these comments again on 20 Feb 2015 my friend and see who is more correct?

Last edited by 747guru; 20th Feb 2010 at 19:35.
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Old 21st Feb 2010, 00:28
  #99 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: over the hill
Posts: 57
As Max Angle has stated on the previous page; flights are appearing on BMI rosters for next week; Is Austrian / Swiss employment law vastly different to the UK? I know none of our pilots relish the idea of operating any of them. Frankly it's embarassing that our (former) 'beloved' leader left the airline in such a bl**dy state whilst pocketing millions himself; now we're being told to bust a dispute on top of all that. It stinks.
For the sake of the profession, even though 'we' (BMI) might be seen as part of the problem, I wish you good luck
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Old 21st Feb 2010, 03:55
  #100 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Stratocaster View Post
As I understand it, legacy carriers intentionally understimated the trouble generated by LCC in the beginning. Legacy carriers thought (i.e. liked to think) that LCC staff would eventually start a mutiny against management, chop their bosses' head off and impose "more decent" contractual terms, thereby putting an end to the LCC business model.

None of this happened apparently because LCC staff is scattered around Europe, and has very different backgrounds and perspectives on what a "decent contract" looks like. Well divided, easily conquered.

Not to mention the fact that Southwest was already very successful and popular among aviation staff across the US. Legacy carriers seem to have been blinded by their own anxiety and wishful thinking.

I don't think any pilot wants to fly for a crappy salary, or to fly more for less cash. But in the games against management either everyone's onboard, or there's no game (i.e. pilots loose).

Perhaps unions should have paid more attention to student pilots and LCC pilots right from the beginning?
Interesting that you mention Southwest. Their pilots make more than any other legacy carrier narrow body pilots in the US, and yes they are unionized. Low cost does not have to mean poverty T & C's for aircrew as SouthWest has been consistantly profitable for more than 30 yrs, a record no other US airline can come close to. The differenace is highly competant mangement with a long term view and keen appreciation of cost vs value, and a workforce that understands they have to be productive. Sadly most legacy carriers seem to lack both...
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