Ten trade unions representing employees of the Lufthansa Group have urged the European Commission to approve, immediately and without conditions, a German plan to provide the airline with €9 billion in support.
In Belgium, the call is supported by the Belgian Cockpit Association (BeCA), which represents the country’s airline pilots.
The European Commission has attached conditions to an agreement reached between the State of Germany and Lufthansa for saving the company. Among other things, it wants Lufthansa to cede time slots at Frankfurt and Munich airports.
The European Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager, defended this demand on Friday, saying that the Commission wished to prevent the accord from disturbing competition.
The Lufthansa unions are opposed to the European position. “Neither workers nor other European citizens will understand if tens of thousands of jobs are lost, not to Covid-19, but due to terms set by the European Union,” they wrote in an open letter issued on Friday.
The unions stressed further that the time slots Lufthansa would have to give up could go to low-cost carriers which, they said, have considerable financial reserves because they have been ignoring travellers’ rights for years. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Commissioner Vestager will be responsible for even more social dumping, false contracting and a strong deterioration in labour standards if this occurred, they accused.
On Friday, the European Transport Workers Federation (EFT) and the European Cockpit Association (ECA) sent a similar letter to Vestager. They, too, argued that some rival airlines should not be rewarded for bad practices with additional time slots and asked the Commission to re-examine its requests for conditions to be attached to the German bailout.
The outcome of the negotiations is important for Lufthansa daughter company Brussels Airlines. In Belgium, discussions are also underway on assistance from the State.