Frankfurt Lufthansa Technik is once again using the red pencil because of the corona consequences. The maintenance and technology subsidiary of the Lufthansa Group wants to close several locations, in technical jargon stations. According to the company, Bremen, Düsseldorf, Leipzig, Hanover and sub-operations in Hamburg and Frankfurt are affected.
That calls the Verdi union on the scene. She fears the loss of 780 of the 1,350 jobs in the affected area. “While the Lufthansa Group is receiving billions in government support during the pandemic to save the company and secure jobs, the subsidiary is now expected to close and cut jobs on a large scale,” criticized Verdi expert Frank Hartstein.
The management of the Lufthansa branch had informed the employees on Thursday about the further plans in the so-called line maintenance. Minor maintenance work on the aircraft takes place here between landing and taking off again. So it’s about services during operation.
Before the pandemic began, Lufthansa had separated these tasks from its subsidiary at the major hubs in Frankfurt and Munich and incorporated them directly into the airline. That should improve the processes and ensure a smoother process.
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The Verdi union makes this decision jointly responsible for the current closure plans. At the technology subsidiary, the high fixed costs and orders with lower volumes remained. External orders have been lost, the union complains.
Line maintenance has lost around half of the business, according to Verdi. In addition, the group subsidiary Eurowings in Düsseldorf has outsourced the maintenance of its jets to a company outside the group. Hartstein therefore called on the Lufthansa Executive Board to correct the decisions on the subject of line maintenance. In the end, these should not be directed against the employees.
However, management will hardly go into this in the longstanding negotiations with the social partners. It is true that the union’s analysis is absolutely correct that the fixed costs have become too high after the loss of important orders on the part of the group airlines.
But the high personnel costs are also due to the fact that Lufthansa Technik’s generally good collective bargaining agreements apply. In the eyes of the management, they are unlikely to be competitive even after the pandemic. Because line maintenance comprises rather simple tasks that are subject to strong price competition.
At Lufthansa Technik they defended the planned closings and declared that they respect the decisions of the customers. It doesn’t matter whether these customers belong to the same group or not.
Lufthansa Technik had already reduced the number of employees by 3,000 last year due to the crisis, including 1,900 temporary workers. The core workforce fell by five percent to 22,745 employees.
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