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Topic: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: Gonzalo
Posted 2013-03-26 15:31:05 and read 10832 times.

Simone Menne, Chief Financial Officer of Lufthansa, told Reuters in a press conference :

"We are ready to go for further strikes, including with pilots, if necessary"
"We are ready to go for more strikes and will not agree to short-term harmony if there is long term further burdening "

Is she bluffing or really trying to start a war against the unions ??



Rgds.
G.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: rampbro
Posted 2013-03-26 15:54:01 and read 10738 times.

Aaaaaaand that's why accountants are not the best folks to do the talking.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: aloges
Posted 2013-03-26 16:33:05 and read 10580 times.

Quoting rampbro (Reply 1):
Aaaaaaand that's why accountants are not the best folks to do the talking.

They might want to check with their passengers whether or not those want them to be "prepared to fight".
I'm guessing there'd be more support for "prepared to fly", but hey, they're only your customers.

Lufthansa, I weep for you.

[Edited 2013-03-26 16:39:24]

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: PHXFlyer16
Posted 2013-03-26 16:46:42 and read 10538 times.

Another European carrier fighting the unions... sigh.

I feel for them. Unions are strangling these airlines and Europe in general with their entitlement attitudes and it continues to catch on in the US. And people wonder why the Middle East carriers are crushing everyone else.

Very short sighted by the unions. Ultimately you will get more money but several of your co-workers won't be around to enjoy in your greed. Even more of your passengers will have had enough with the fare hikes and fly other carriers when possible.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: SonomaFlyer
Posted 2013-03-26 17:03:02 and read 10472 times.

This is why a deregulated industry is great. If one airline is on strike/lock out or MIA, there will likely be other airlines there to snap up the business.

Like it or not, the Middle Eastern airlines have changed the paradigm. The ULH aircraft now being deployed have further pushed the industry away from the 1970-2000 era. Both management and the unions must see that and they have to set up their relationship to be able to compete with these airlines or go the way of the dodo.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: aloges
Posted 2013-03-26 17:16:05 and read 10409 times.

Quoting PHXFlyer16 (Reply 3):
Ultimately you will get more money but several of your co-workers won't be around to enjoy in your greed.

What greed? They're not asking for anything out of this world - and factoring in that unions rarely ever get what they ask for, they must already be asking for more than what even they believe they can get. All in all, the LH staff in question will be lucky to preserve the status quo when all is said and done.

On the other hand, confrontational comments from management like those made by Ms Menne will only drive more people away from LH. "We're prepared for strikes!" means little else than "We don't care if you make it to your destination!"

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: PHXFlyer16
Posted 2013-03-26 17:25:40 and read 10380 times.

Quoting aloges (Reply 5):
On the other hand, confrontational comments from management like those made by Ms Menne will only drive more people away from LH. "We're prepared for strikes!" means little else than "We don't care if you make it to your destination!"

I disagree... You have to stand up. If MGT continues to roll over and give in then it sets a precident that all anyone has to do when they do when they decide they want another raise in 6mo is threaten to strike again. It happens again and again and again and you are now Air France or Iberia.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: aloges
Posted 2013-03-26 17:39:16 and read 10330 times.

Quoting PHXFlyer16 (Reply 6):

Yeah, no. That's not the corporate culture in Germany. Co-determination has forced unions to face the realities of business; when you're a board member, you can't really play the "us versus them" game without ending up a hypocrite. We were once known, and this very much includes Lufthansa, for the low amount of strikes that occurred. But when businesses and politicians started fighting the big unions, successfully in many cases, the workers who no longer felt represented properly joined smaller, specialised unions - and voilà, we got to the mess we're in now. One month it's cabin crew, the next it's ground and then the pilots start again... rinse and repeat in twelve months because nobody seems to sign contracts for more than that amount of time anymore.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: Flighty
Posted 2013-03-26 17:39:21 and read 10325 times.

Quoting aloges (Reply 5):
On the other hand, confrontational comments from management

Managers fight for the shareholder and customer interests. They don't work for employees. In other words, this is not a "fight" among equals. Managers have a duty to manage the company. Workers have a duty to work there, or leave.

At least in my worldview. I don't make childish threats to anyone. Is the LH CFO doing that, not directly but a little too close for comfort.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: aloges
Posted 2013-03-26 17:45:03 and read 10298 times.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 8):
Managers fight for the shareholder and customer interests.

Interesting priorities...  Anyway, the employees are a major assett to any company, particularly one in a service industry. I cannot for the life of me imagine how the current tone set by management might help preserve the value of that assett.

Bearing in mind that LH management has, over the years, spent (or even wasted) millions upon millions on BMI et al while ignoring several key product trends, I can definitely understand a certain dissatisfaction among the workforce.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2013-03-26 17:56:13 and read 10258 times.

Quoting PHXFlyer16 (Reply 6):
You have to stand up. If MGT continues to roll over and give in then it sets a precident that all anyone has to do when they do when they decide they want another raise in 6mo is threaten to strike again. It happens again and again and again and you are now Air France or Iberia.

Both sides can do what they want; that invisible hand will slap them back to reality regardless in the end. Hey Malev!

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: michman
Posted 2013-03-26 18:19:10 and read 10199 times.

Where does she ever say "We're prepared to fight"??? If she didn't say it, don't put it in quotes!!

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: AR385
Posted 2013-03-26 18:24:43 and read 10185 times.

Quoting PHXFlyer16 (Reply 3):
Very short sighted by the unions. Ultimately you will get more money but several of your co-workers won't be around to enjoy in your greed.

You may wish to take a look at what happened with IB the last few weeks in Spain. The unions got exactly what they wanted and IAG was forced to accept things they had said they would never agree to.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: avek00
Posted 2013-03-26 18:33:21 and read 10150 times.

It's about time! For years, European airline managers have had to pull all sorts of rabbits out the proverbial hat to deal with very expensive and inefficient labor infrastructures. The era of magic spells is now over, with US partners and Mideast & Asian rivals both putting pressure on Euro legacies to no longer be the costliest airlines in the world from an operating standpoint.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: RyanairGuru
Posted 2013-03-26 18:33:30 and read 10148 times.

Playing devils advocate here...

Quoting aloges (Reply 9):
Interesting priorities

It's the law, management of a public interest have to act in the interests of the shareholders.

Arguably customers are #2 priority as it is their money you need to be profitable.

Quoting aloges (Reply 9):
for the life of me imagine how the current tone set by management might help preserve the value of that assett

Technically employees aren't an asset.


As I said, I'm playing devils advocate. I don't necessarily agree with the legal regime as it stands, but it is what it is

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: aloges
Posted 2013-03-26 18:50:59 and read 10092 times.

Quoting michman (Reply 11):
Where does she ever say "We're prepared to fight"??? If she didn't say it, don't put it in quotes!!

One article in German coming up:

Quote:
Lufthansa zeigt sich unnachgiebig

Die Tarifverhandlungen bei der Lufthansa sind festgefahren. Die Finanzchefin gibt sich weiterhin hart: „Wir sind bereit für neue Streiks, notfalls auch der Piloten, wenn wir dadurch unsere langfristigen Ziele erreichen.“
(...)
„Wir würden nicht wegen kurzfristiger Harmonie unser langfristiges Wachstum aufs Spiel setzen“, ...

Those are the relevant quotes, now for the translation:

Lufthansa unbending

The labour dispute at Lufthansa is going nowhere. The CFO remains tough: "We are prepared for more strikes, possibly even pilots' strikes, if this is how we can achieve our long-term goals."
(...)
"We would not jeopardise long-term growth for short-term harmony" ...

Quoting avek00 (Reply 13):
For years, European airline managers have had to pull all sorts of rabbits out the proverbial hat to deal with very expensive and inefficient labor infrastructures.

You mean like the lower wages and longer hours that LH staff have already swallowed up?

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: Aesma
Posted 2013-03-26 18:51:29 and read 10092 times.

Does Simone Menne take the same kind of pay/benefits cuts offered to employees ?

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: Gonzalo
Posted 2013-03-26 19:00:34 and read 10062 times.

Quoting aloges (Reply 9):
Bearing in mind that LH management has, over the years, spent (or even wasted) millions upon millions on BMI et al while ignoring several key product trends, I can definitely understand a certain dissatisfaction among the workforce.

And probably the timing for this kind of statements from a CFO wasn't the best, specially if we consider that right now in this same fórums we have this :

Lufthansa To Acquire Brussels Airliners For 100% (by SN535 Mar 26 2013 in Civil Aviation)

LH To Launch A Long Haul Low Cost Carrier? (by AF185 Mar 25 2013 in Civil Aviation)

Quoting michman (Reply 11):
Where does she ever say "We're prepared to fight"??? If she didn't say it, don't put it in quotes!!

Was there earlier today, even was the title of a couple of articles in the press. I always try to not use the same titles of related press releases in respect of the site rules re copyright ( I already had a couple of threads deleted in the past for that reason ) . In any case, if you read what she said out there in the web, you should see that she is in fact proposing a fight against the unions, no matter what semantic or grammar she could use.


Rgds.
G.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: PHXFlyer16
Posted 2013-03-26 19:07:26 and read 10041 times.

Quoting AR385 (Reply 12):
You may wish to take a look at what happened with IB the last few weeks in Spain. The unions got exactly what they wanted and IAG was forced to accept things they had said they would never agree to.

Exactly, and that's not a good thing. IB was already bleeding money. This will only make matters worse. Wait and see if those higher wages are worth the whole airline shrinking or closing down and many many people losing their jobs. An unprofitable business will in the end suffer the consequences. It is because of Spain's entitlement culture that unemployment is astronomical and they are suffering a debt crisis.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: aloges
Posted 2013-03-26 19:09:11 and read 10039 times.

Quoting Gonzalo (Reply 17):
And probably the timing for this kind of statements from a CFO wasn't the best, specially if we consider that right now in this same fórums we have this :

...and this, too:

LH Buys 100 A320, 2 A380, 6 77W Part 1 (by FlyingAY Mar 14 2013 in Civil Aviation)

Sadly, timing is just one of the many things they're currently mucking up. For instance, I'm quite curious about the "new Germanwings" where employees from two different categories will, in all likelihood, end up working flights together: those hired by LH under the older, better terms and those hired by 4U... you can already taste the delicious atmosphere on board, can't you?

What gets me the most is this total disregard for people - a no-no in a service industry, if I'm any judge. They're basically telling their employees that their work is worth less and always less and Ms Menne's message to passengers is "We don't really care if you're affected by strikes!"

Quoting PHXFlyer16 (Reply 18):
It is because of Spain's entitlement culture that unemployment is astronomical and they are suffering a debt crisis.

I'm just wondering: What is this extremely broad statement of yours based on? Do you simply feel, well, entitled to an opinion because you've heard it somewhere and liked the sound of it or have you actually studied Spain to such a degree that your opinion is qualified?

[Edited 2013-03-26 19:11:59]

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: RyanairGuru
Posted 2013-03-26 19:11:48 and read 10027 times.

Quoting PHXFlyer16 (Reply 18):
It is because of Spain's entitlement culture that unemployment is astronomical and they are suffering a debt crisis.

Wow, easy there. I agree in principle with a lot of what you said, but this is flat out wrong. Spain does have very generous employment law, I agree.

BUT the economic maelstrom was caused - almost exclusively - by their poorly leveraged banks. It had nothing to do with an "entitlement culture".

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2013-03-26 19:14:29 and read 10012 times.

Quoting aloges (Reply 19):

What gets me the most is this total disregard for people - a no-no in a service industry, if I'm any judge.

A) Nobody pays for service. B) The union protection against economic reality is a bit like King Canute commanding the tide to stop coming in, so you end up getting these huge, dramatic step changes that piss everyone off, rather than starting from a flexible structure that can roll with the economic punches. It's a story as old as deregulation, but one thing is for certain, no one will learn from it.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: futureualpilot
Posted 2013-03-26 19:15:11 and read 10011 times.

Quoting PHXFlyer16 (Reply 3):
I feel for them. Unions are strangling these airlines and Europe in general with their entitlement attitudes and it continues to catch on in the US. And people wonder why the Middle East carriers are crushing everyone else.

Yeah, darn those employees for wanting to be treated fair and compensated justly for their time and effort. What a selfish attitude they must have. Middle east carriers tend to have better work rules and compensate their crews much better, generally speaking than any other place in the world which prevents the need for unions to begin with. FYI, US legacy carriers, all of whom are unionized are expected to show a profit. The reason for the disparity between middle east carriers and "everyone else" is far, far beyond union vs non-union.

Quoting PHXFlyer16 (Reply 3):
Very short sighted by the unions.

But not the management type who admits they're willing to fight? Very disingenuous to only cite the unions for being short sighted here.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 8):
Managers fight for the shareholder and customer interests. They don't work for employees.

Perhaps this is part of the problem. Fighting for shareholder and customer interests tends to be done at the expense of the quality of life of the labor force that makes the company function. With nobody to stand between management and the employees you get...a union.



[Edited 2013-03-26 19:19:02]

[Edited 2013-03-26 19:22:51]

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2013-03-26 19:20:42 and read 9987 times.

Quoting futureualpilot (Reply 22):
Middle east carriers tend to have better work rules and compensate their crews much better, generally speaking than any other place in the world which prevents the need for unions to begin with.

If you want carriers to fire you because you gained a pound, had a hair out of place, turned 36, or rejected the overture of some nasty sheikh, then go on right ahead!

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: PHXFlyer16
Posted 2013-03-26 19:22:05 and read 9979 times.

I studied in Spain two years ago during the PIGS crisis and this was discussed regularly in class. I witnessed the protests and people living in the parks in protest.

I am not trying to single out Spain, its a great place that I love. That goes for all of Europe, but policies around pensions and unions, retirement, etc have created a dangerous business climate. While much of the world is starting to rebound, Europe is lacking behind because of their laws.

The same thing is happening in the US to a lesser degree. This is why Asian is kicking all of our butts lately. I am not trying to be negative, rather expressing my concern and sadness how these once great countries, economies and airlines are struggling so much.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: AR385
Posted 2013-03-26 19:28:56 and read 10382 times.

Quoting PHXFlyer16 (Reply 18):
Wait and see if those higher wages

What higher wages? You really have no idea what you are talking about do you?

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: futureualpilot
Posted 2013-03-26 19:29:03 and read 10336 times.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 23):
If you want carriers to fire you because you gained a pound, had a hair out of place, turned 36, or rejected the overture of some nasty sheikh, then go on right ahead!

I have no issue with that. I'm not required to go work there and neither is anybody else.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: PHXFlyer16
Posted 2013-03-26 19:30:34 and read 10534 times.

Quoting futureualpilot (Reply 22):
Yeah, darn those employees for wanting to be treated fair and compensated justly for their time and effort. What a selfish attitude they must have. Middle east carriers tend to have better work rules and compensate their crews much better, generally speaking than any other place in the world which prevents the need for unions to begin with

I'm sorry, but I am pretty sure they are treated better than most. It reminds me of auto workers in the US who were getting these ridiculous pensions and salaries and could smoke pot and drink during their lunch break, get caught on camera, and NOT be fired. There is no accountability these days at the personal level.

If I am unhappy with my job or pay then I look for employment elsewhere. It is not my employers responsibly to meet my demands. At the end of the day I am the one to be held accountable to whether I meet my life goals, nobody else.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: RyanairGuru
Posted 2013-03-26 19:33:46 and read 10512 times.

Quoting PHXFlyer16 (Reply 27):
It reminds me of auto workers in the US who were getting these ridiculous pensions and salaries and could smoke pot and drink during their lunch break, get caught on camera, and NOT be fired.
This sort of mentality is the downside of unionism. Similarly US apparently had some people on the ramp at PHL who did, well, nothing. Thankfully the company finally got rid of them.

There is a big difference, however, between protecting your right to drink while building a high precision machine that people are going to entrust their life to, and protecting legitimate interests such as wages.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: futureualpilot
Posted 2013-03-26 19:38:32 and read 10461 times.

Quoting PHXFlyer16 (Reply 27):
I'm sorry, but I am pretty sure they are treated better than most.

I don't know too much about LH and their policies but if a labor group is willing to strike I can only assume what is being asked of them is unfair.

Quoting PHXFlyer16 (Reply 27):
It reminds me of auto workers in the US who were getting these ridiculous pensions and salaries and could smoke pot and drink during their lunch break, get caught on camera, and NOT be fired.

Agreed, but we're not talking about auto workers in the states. Unions aren't perfect and neither is management, contrary to the beliefs of this website. Protecting workers who slack off, cut corners and take advantage of the system isn't right but neither is coming after your employee's wages and quality of life in the name of your shareholders.

Quoting PHXFlyer16 (Reply 27):
There is no accountability these days at the personal level.

Agreed. Nor is their accountability at the upper managerial level.

Quoting PHXFlyer16 (Reply 27):
If I am unhappy with my job or pay then I look for employment elsewhere.

As are the LH employees but in a world where seniority means everything it is a different game. In most industries you can translate your experience and prior salary to something fair at a new job. Perhaps not the same but livable. Not so in the airlines. Likely the biggest downfall of our choosing to perpetuate a seniority based system.

Quoting PHXFlyer16 (Reply 27):
It is not my employers responsibly to meet my demands.

No but it is their responsibility to abide by the agreements they make with you. If they agree to a contract then it remains reasonable to expect both you, and your management to abide by its terms.

[Edited 2013-03-26 19:39:53]

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: PHXFlyer16
Posted 2013-03-26 19:38:41 and read 10453 times.

Quoting AR385 (Reply 25):
What higher wages? You really have no idea what you are talking about do you?

Yes, current salaries are higher relative to proposed cuts. This is unsustainable and is not in the long term interest of the airline's survival.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: aloges
Posted 2013-03-26 19:39:27 and read 10471 times.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 21):
A) Nobody pays for service.

I'm sorry, but this is ridiculous. What is air transportation, if not a service and how do you get someone to provide it to you if not by paying for it?

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 21):
B) The union protection against economic reality

You don't really seem to have a grasp on unions in Germany. Please see the link in reply no. 7 for some basic information.

Quoting PHXFlyer16 (Reply 24):
I witnessed the protests and people living in the parks in protest.

Did you, by any chance, ask them what had happened to them and what they wanted?

Quoting PHXFlyer16 (Reply 24):
This is why Asian is kicking all of our butts lately.

That's so crassly oversimplified that I don't even know where to start picking it apart... and we're far off topic, too, so I won't even try.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: AR385
Posted 2013-03-26 19:45:48 and read 10473 times.

Quoting PHXFlyer16 (Reply 30):
Yes, current salaries are higher relative to proposed cuts. This is unsustainable and is not in the long term interest of the airline's survival.

Take a look at this.

IAG Accepts IB Mediation - Unions Pending (by Stratofish Mar 10 2013 in Civil Aviation)?threadid=5711399&searchid=5714050&s=Ib#ID5714050

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2013-03-26 19:47:08 and read 10425 times.

Quoting aloges (Reply 31):
I'm sorry, but this is ridiculous. What is air transportation, if not a service and how do you get someone to provide it to you if not by paying for it?

You implied that poor service due to crew animosity would drive passengers away, which, were it true, there'd be about two airlines left.

Quoting aloges (Reply 31):

You don't really seem to have a grasp on unions in Germany.

Love that a.net condescension

Quoting aloges (Reply 31):
Please see the link in reply no. 7 for some basic information.

The basic underlying economics are the same the world over, outside of places like China etc.. European carriers have major challenges on the revenue side, set against an unprecedented crisis, so whether the cost inputs (including labor) have unions, or seats on the board, or a direct line to mother Gaia, they're going to be under the microscope to decrease costs or increase flexibility--really two sides of the same coin.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: Gonzalo
Posted 2013-03-26 19:52:06 and read 10406 times.

Regarding all the Management / Unions relations, and how they treat each other, I remember a few years ago, I read a book about Southwest Airlines and its success. One of the aspects frequently highlighted in the book was the care from the management ( from Herb Keller to all the other high positions, through supervision workers ) to the mainline workers. They had some sort of ability to even take advantages from the occasional conflicts that show up from time to time.
I know Southwest and LH are not comparable, nor the way of thinking of the people in the US and Germany, but there are very simple steps that any manager of any country could take, steps that are available for anyone who read the book....

I guess Mss. Menne didn't read that book yet   


Rgds.
G.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2013-03-26 19:55:24 and read 10409 times.

Quoting Gonzalo (Reply 34):
One of the aspects frequently highlighted in the book was the care from the management ( from Herb Keller to all the other high positions, through supervision workers ) to the mainline workers.

WN essentially bought its labor peace, which worked for a long time, but is now proving a challenge.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: aloges
Posted 2013-03-26 19:58:37 and read 10395 times.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 33):
You implied that poor service due to crew animosity would drive passengers away, which, were it true, there'd be about two airlines left.

There's a lot of choice in the skies of Europe. If 4U fails to deliver what LH has so far managed to keep delivering, passengers will fly on other carriers. The 4U that I know contains far too much easyJet for it to replace LH wihout any loss of loyalty. Add this new scent of "we don't care" that management is currently spraying and it will only get worse.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 33):
The basic underlying economics are the same the world over

They most certainly are not. The infamous Chapter 11, for instance, is a complete game changer.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2013-03-26 20:12:24 and read 10338 times.

Quoting aloges (Reply 36):

There's a lot of choice in the skies of Europe

Sure is, but 'service' isn't driving buying decisions in any meaningful way. Either that or Ryanair has incredible service.

Quoting aloges (Reply 36):
Add this new scent of "we don't care" that management is currently spraying and it will only get worse.

Works great for the most profitable carrier in Europe

Quoting aloges (Reply 36):
They most certainly are not. The infamous Chapter 11, for instance, is a complete game changer.

No, it doesn't change the economic trends; if anything it slows down the cycle since failing carriers get a second chance rather than failing completely and decisively. Ultimately you end up at the same place: a level of capacity that the market can afford, either with carriers failing (CH7 in the US or bankruptcy in EU) and pulling out capacity, or with carriers reducing costs (in CH11 or costs cuts) and reducing the cost of that capacity. Either way the fairly inelastic travel spend out there is buying the same dollar amount of travel, and LCCs and Gulf Carriers continue to eat everybody's lunch anyway, and we repeat a couple years later.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: LOWS
Posted 2013-03-26 22:24:36 and read 10093 times.

Quoting PHXFlyer16 (Reply 24):
I am not trying to single out Spain, its a great place that I love. That goes for all of Europe, but policies around pensions and unions, retirement, etc have created a dangerous business climate. While much of the world is starting to rebound, Europe is lacking behind because of their laws.

So, if I make some massively broad conclusions about the enitre US based on my experience studying in Oklahoma, would that be ok with you?

In Austria, Germany and a few other European countries, we have very proud histories of working together. It is very effective. We have pride from it. Generally, it works very effectively in continaing employee/employer discontent.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: PanHAM
Posted 2013-03-26 23:55:08 and read 9724 times.

Quoting aloges (Reply 7):
Yeah, no. That's not the corporate culture in Germany. Co-determination has forced unions to face the realities of business; when you're a board member, you can't really play the "us versus them" game without ending up a

Nice in theory, but Mr. Frank Bsirske, head of the infamous Ver.di union and co-chairman of the LH board has, throughout his mandate, always worked against the interest of the company, which at the end are the interests oif the workers in LH as well. Bsirske has never been approved and as a board member on the capitral sign would have been a case for the DA, but Germany's exclusive "workers co-determination" whch is BS in itself and may work in small companies, but in large ones is union determination, prevents him from that.

Jiust recently, Ver.di initiated several strikes with small groups, security checkers for instance, which damages the airline more than the employers of these people.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 16):
Does Simone Menne take the same kind of pay/benefits cuts offered to employees ?

She just started and her total income depends on the success of the company

Quoting Flighty (Reply 8):
Managers fight for the shareholder and customer interests. They don't work for employees.

If the managers keep the company ahead in the competition, which in the case of airlines is world wide, they work in the interests of all, the customers, sthe hareholders and the employees

Quoting futureualpilot (Reply 22):
Middle east carriers tend to have better work rules and compensate their crews much better, generally speaking than any other place in the world which prevents the need for unions to begin with. FYI, US

Are you joking? Try to strike in any of these countries which are ruled by decret instead of the law. Try to breal a custom and you find yourself, as an expat, on the next flight out., In which case you have taken the lucky draw.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: seahawk
Posted 2013-03-27 00:02:37 and read 9648 times.

It is good for the unions to know that they now must fight. And they should not compromise at all.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: CaptainCrackers
Posted 2013-03-27 02:25:23 and read 8910 times.

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 39):
She just started and her total income depends on the success of the company

As does the total income of all Lufthansa employees under its profit-sharing schemes. But I bet Menne wasn't hired at a much, much lower fixed rate like all those cabin staff were, to take one example. I think Aesma's point stands.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: zkokq
Posted 2013-03-27 02:42:27 and read 8789 times.

Borrow Alan Joyce, that will fix the unions..

Company's shouldn't be held to the extortion of unions wants and demands. Otherwise we will end up in a place where we only have the gulf carriers.

Aviation is already a tough business as it is.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: LHRFlyer
Posted 2013-03-27 02:43:11 and read 8789 times.

Quoting AR385 (Reply 12):
You may wish to take a look at what happened with IB the last few weeks in Spain. The unions got exactly what they wanted and IAG was forced to accept things they had said they would never agree to.

Did they? There are still large scale redundancies and the reduction in the number of redundancies will be offset by productivity improvements.

IAG compromised (as it probably knew it would have to), but fundamentally it got what it was seeking.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: PanHAM
Posted 2013-03-27 02:57:19 and read 8686 times.

Quoting CaptainCrackers (Reply 41):
As does the total income of all Lufthansa employees under its profit-sharing schemes. B

The shareholders get another zero year. Nil, nada, nichts. Ms. Menne gets paid for conrolling the employment costs, that is not a lottery win, she needs qualifications to fill that job and whatever she gets, it is a free market rate. .

We have other threads running alongside this one where users say that LHs costs are too high. Exactly. A company that does not control its costs will not stay in business. At the end that means a great nu,mber of or all jobs are lost.

I never understood why people follow this union folklore of warning strikes and running around in cut out litter bags with silly slogans printed and making stupid noises. At the end of the day this goes into mediation anyhow. If they want more salary they have to work more.

Right now LH offers zero and 1 hour addtional work. The union same work hours and a lunatic 5,2% If they meet at 3% and 3 hours additonal work per week it is a good compromise.

The employees have to understood that the times when unprofitable routes where carried along "because the company had to show flag in that market" are over. A route that does not make money is given up along with the jobs it takes to operate that route.

There is no other way, simple fact.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: AR385
Posted 2013-03-27 03:07:44 and read 8625 times.

Quoting LHRFlyer (Reply 43):
Did they? There are still large scale redundancies and the reduction in the number of redundancies will be offset by productivity improvements.

IAG compromised (as it probably knew it would have to), but fundamentally it got what it was seeking.

They got a lot less people to be fired.
They got much less reductions in payment scale
And much more importantly, all redundancies, will be under the ERE of 2001 rather than the current one.

If you still think the unions didn´t get what they were after and IAG did, you need to read the agreed (ish) conditions and come down from that "IAG can do no wrong" bubble of yours. The fact that IAG knew all along that in the end these were the conditions they needed to agree to (after all, this was what they were about to agree on in January, except for the EREs) has no bearing at all since they would not have agreed to them if the unions had not gone into strike with such force. IAG underestimated IB´s unions and thus had to retrench.

I´m not sure we´ve seen the end of the story though, I´ll give you that.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: LHRFlyer
Posted 2013-03-27 03:09:36 and read 8610 times.

Quoting AR385 (Reply 45):
and come down from that "IAG can do no wrong" bubble of yours.

That is rather unnecessary.

IAG made clear they anticipated industrial action and was prepared for it. If IAG couldn't get a satisfactory outcome, there was no doubt a "Plan B" in a desk drawer.

[Edited 2013-03-27 03:11:34]

[Edited 2013-03-27 03:12:33]

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: UALWN
Posted 2013-03-27 03:26:05 and read 8492 times.

Quoting LHRFlyer (Reply 46):
That is rather unnecessary.

But, honestly, quite deserved.

Quoting LHRFlyer (Reply 46):
If IAG couldn't get a satisfactory outcome, there was no doubt a "Plan B" in a desk drawer.

Which they failed to show. At the end, I'd agree that IAG got most of what they wanted, although at a higher price...

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: mozart
Posted 2013-03-27 03:52:56 and read 8325 times.

Ouch, not very smart of her to make that kind of statement.

Indeed, all European legacy carriers face a huge challenge with cost and especially with labour cost. IAG does, AFKL does, LH Group does. LH Group has the benefit of the healthiest financial situation (still, let's see for how much longer) and a healthy operating income. But the challenges do exist. Fine.

But whether the right tone and attitude she has chosen to display is appropriate and the smartest way to get results I do doubt. Having said that, her "counterpart" does do the same thing.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 16):

Does Simone Menne take the same kind of pay/benefits cuts offered to employees

Why should she? I agree that it is a nice symbolic gesture that management "shares the pain", but in the end she is being paid for increasing shareholder value. Employees are paid for flying planes, serving customers, being FAs, repairing planes, etc.

Quoting futureualpilot (Reply 22):
Yeah, darn those employees for wanting to be treated fair and compensated justly for their time and effort.

And who tells you that what they are asking for is "fair treatment and just compensation for their time and effort"? Is Lufthansa's level of compensation and organization of work "fair and just"? Or easyjet's?

I would argue that the economics and the functioning of the airline industry have changed and therefore what appeared fair and just may no longer be fair and just today. This is of course difficult for those that have been around since some time because it means that they "lose out" compared to the rosy days. But that is true in many sectors.

Quoting futureualpilot (Reply 22):
But not the management type who admits they're willing to fight? Very disingenuous to only cite the unions for being short sighted here.

Agreed.

Quoting futureualpilot (Reply 22):
Perhaps this is part of the problem. Fighting for shareholder and customer interests tends to be done at the expense of the quality of life of the labor force that makes the company function. With nobody to stand between management and the employees you get...a union.

Whilst I am all for unions and against simplistic statements of the "unions are working against the company's success" kind I find the kind of simplistic statements where employees are the victims just as "unconvincing".

Quoting AR385 (Reply 25):
What higher wages? You really have no idea what you are talking about do you?

They want higher wages. That is a fact, read the article.

Quoting aloges (Reply 7):
Yeah, no. That's not the corporate culture in Germany. Co-determination has forced unions to face the realities of business; when you're a board member, you can't really play the "us versus them" game without ending up a hypocrite.

Of all the DAX30 companies in Germany Lufthansa is the only one where there often is a split board between employees and "capital" and the Chairman needs to use his double vote.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 28):
There is a big difference, however, between protecting your right to drink while building a high precision machine that people are going to entrust their life to, and protecting legitimate interests such as wages.

FYI: workers at BMW plants are allowed to drink beer.

Quoting futureualpilot (Reply 29):
As are the LH employees but in a world where seniority means everything it is a different game. In most industries you can translate your experience and prior salary to something fair at a new job. Perhaps not the same but livable. Not so in the airlines. Likely the biggest downfall of our choosing to perpetuate a seniority based system.

Those are the rules of the game. If you don't like them, don't join aviation. It's not even new rules that have come upon them once they started their job. These rules have been around always.

Quoting futureualpilot (Reply 29):
No but it is their responsibility to abide by the agreements they make with you. If they agree to a contract then it remains reasonable to expect both you, and your management to abide by its terms.

You are joking, right? Fair enough to have a pro-Union point of view, but accusing Lufthansa or other companies not to abide by the contracts that have been signed is quite a substantial accusation. And completely baseless. You dis-credit all your other arguments.

Both parties respect the contracts. It is about the terms of future contracts that they clash.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: Gonzalo
Posted 2013-03-27 04:03:00 and read 8283 times.

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 44):
I never understood why people follow this union folklore of warning strikes and running around in cut out litter bags with silly slogans printed and making stupid noises. At the end of the day this goes into mediation anyhow. If they want more salary they have to work more. Right now LH offers zero and 1 hour additional work. The union same work hours and a lunatic 5,2% If they meet at 3% and 3 hours additional work per week it is a good compromise.

I have the same feeling. The vast majority of people out there ( I'm sure over 90 % ) looking for an airline to fly from point A to point B is absolutely indifferent about the unions or workers claims. They want a reliable airline providing the service they are paying for. When the unions starts with this announcements and threats about strikes and similar actions, they are biting the hand that feeds them. And this actions, sooner or later, ends always in the same way, with the management doing a couple of concessions here and there, and the unions accepting a lot less than the original claims. I fail to understand why they ( both sides really ) are so rigid at the beginning and only start to think in a way out of the mess when the damage to the company is already done.

Rgds.
G.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: aloges
Posted 2013-03-27 04:39:45 and read 8050 times.

Quoting mozart (Reply 48):
Of all the DAX30 companies in Germany Lufthansa is the only one where there often is a split board between employees and "capital" and the Chairman needs to use his double vote.

That's interesting, would you be able to provide some background information?

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: turn720
Posted 2013-03-27 05:09:21 and read 7821 times.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 20):
BUT the economic maelstrom was caused - almost exclusively - by their poorly leveraged banks. It had nothing to do with an "entitlement culture".

Lets not put the cart in front of the ox here. The banks became poorly leveraged because they were used to finance the "entitlement cuture". Sorry for drifting.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: seahawk
Posted 2013-03-27 05:59:31 and read 7425 times.

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 44):
Right now LH offers zero and 1 hour addtional work. The union same work hours and a lunatic 5,2% If they meet at 3% and 3 hours additonal work per week it is a good compromise.

5,2% lunatic? That is a very low demand. In Europe so much money has been thrown down the throats of banks and capitalists, It is time that workers see more money.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: PanHAM
Posted 2013-03-27 06:08:09 and read 7334 times.

Quoting Gonzalo (Thread starter):
Quoting seahawk (Reply 52):
5,2% lunatic? That is a very low demand. In Europe so much money has been thrown down the throats of banks and capitalists, It is time that workers see more money.

it is about LH, not banks. The -what you call "capitalists"- get nothing, I said that before. The conditions under which LH is working has been mentioned as well. The employees (I prefer that term over "workers") should be interested to work for a company that has a sustainable business plan and a firm grip on its costs.

[Edited 2013-03-27 06:09:03]

[Edited 2013-03-27 06:40:29]

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: AirPacific747
Posted 2013-03-27 06:10:14 and read 7305 times.

Quoting PHXFlyer16 (Reply 3):
I feel for them. Unions are strangling these airlines and Europe in general with their entitlement attitudes and it continues to catch on in the US. And people wonder why the Middle East carriers are crushing everyone else.

I guess you have no clue what the low cost carriers are doing to the employees then and they are pulling the entire industry in that direction. Pilot salary of 1000 EUR a month during line training, and 90 hours flying time every month. You do get 1 month of self sponsored annual leave though.

The unions are fighting to give the employees some dignity and fighting for a pilot salary that is higher than that of a bus driver. I wish all airline employees would organize themselves in unions but people are afraid to lose their jobs.

[Edited 2013-03-27 06:19:06]

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: Speedbird128
Posted 2013-03-27 06:29:18 and read 7147 times.

Quoting seahawk (Reply 52):
5,2% lunatic? That is a very low demand.

In this economy, I think it sadly is lunatic...

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: PHXFlyer16
Posted 2013-03-27 07:22:30 and read 6760 times.

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 54):
The unions are fighting to give the employees some dignity and fighting for a pilot salary that is higher than that of a bus driver. I wish all airline employees would organize themselves in unions but people are afraid to lose their jobs.

That's fine, but then don't join an industry with realities like these if you are interested in making a lot of money. If those are market rates, then you can't fight them, if you do, you will eventually find your airline out of business and ALL of your employees out of a job.

I respect airline employees, however, like teachers they just do earn a lot. They do what they do because they love it. If it's not enough money then people need to re-educate themselves and find a new career. It's pretty simple economics that for some reason Europe keeps trying to fight. The problem is they can continue to fight it all they want, but the rest of the world will not follow suit and the airlines will only become less and less competitive vs. their Asian, Middle Eastern and American counterparts.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: PanHAM
Posted 2013-03-27 07:42:00 and read 6647 times.

Quoting PHXFlyer16 (Reply 56):
It's pretty simple economics that for some reason Europe keeps trying to fight. The problem is they can continue to fight it all they want, but the rest of the world will not follow suit and the airlines will only become less and less competitive vs.

The disease is called "ideology". No company, no country can be run efficiently by an ideology unless they call themselves "church" and are tax exempt.

A well run business works hard to meet the parameters which are set by industry standards, by the financing needs etc. and most of all, the market. The market is unforgivable for mistakes.

The LH board is simply doing their job and I still hope that they find a solution in negotiations. Which could be more work against a bit more pay and job security.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: YTZ
Posted 2013-03-27 07:44:04 and read 6602 times.

Quoting aloges (Reply 2):

I can appreciate the perspective of an employee. But surely you understand that LH has to be competitive. It faces huge threats all around. The ME3+TK will eat a lot of LH's long-haul traffic. And Easyjet, Norwegian and Ryanair are doing the same at home. How in this reality is LH supposed to compete?

If LH doesn't get their costs down, in the long run, they are finished.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2013-03-27 07:44:44 and read 6629 times.

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 54):
The unions are fighting to give the employees some dignity and fighting for a pilot salary that is higher than that of a bus driver

Oh for chrissakes--LH pilots are well compensated by any measure. Half of Europe is being bailed out left and right, and LH pilots are easily in the top 5-10% of wage earners in the EU. I'm not saying they don't deserve more, or less for that matter, but LH pilots have dignity in spades compared to everyone else, especially bus drivers.

Quoting seahawk (Reply 52):
5,2% lunatic? That is a very low demand.

Perhaps it's a low demand, but when you're making cents on the dollar in the best of times, a 5% increase in costs is a game changer. Or they could be at AB where a 5% increase in costs would just increase the velocity of money flying out the door.

Quoting CaptainCrackers (Reply 41):
But I bet Menne wasn't hired at a much, much lower fixed rate like all those cabin staff were, to take one example.

The qualifications for a CFO are much higher than cabin staff, which at least in the US are a GED and a few weeks of company sponsored training. Of course she is paid more.

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 57):
The LH board is simply doing their job and I still hope that they find a solution in negotiations. Which could be more work against a bit more pay and job security.

   and this is not the end, and it's likely to only get much uglier in EU aviation.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: RDH3E
Posted 2013-03-27 07:58:59 and read 6500 times.

Quoting aloges (Reply 9):
Bearing in mind that LH management has, over the years, spent (or even wasted) millions upon millions on BMI et al while ignoring several key product trends, I can definitely understand a certain dissatisfaction among the workforce.

LH management is widely regarded as the best management team in Aviation, so I don't know what you're talking about. Certainly everyone makes mistakes occasionally, which BMI could probably be classified as, but overall the Management team has been excellent.

Quoting futureualpilot (Reply 29):
I don't know too much about LH and their policies but if a labor group is willing to strike I can only assume what is being asked of them is unfair.

I agree with what I think you're saying here, but with one caveat, I would say "I can only assume THAT THEY THINK what is being asked of them is unfair." Because what is fair is always in the eye of the beholder.

Quoting futureualpilot (Reply 29):
Agreed. Nor is their accountability at the upper managerial level.

Broadly speaking there are mechanisms to hold upper management accountable, Shareholder votes. Unions could easily buy up a block of shares and start a proxy war to get rid of certain individuals. Many institutional investors would probably get on board in order to prevent labor unrest. Might not get them a raise per say, but could get them someone more sympathetic to labor at the top.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: YTZ
Posted 2013-03-27 08:00:21 and read 6479 times.

If LH's board caves, I daresay, there'll be little reason for anybody to invest in LH. As it is, airlines offer such poor returns. And then you have labour woes that eat margins on top of it....

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: AirPacific747
Posted 2013-03-27 09:02:16 and read 6104 times.

Quoting PHXFlyer16 (Reply 56):
That's fine, but then don't join an industry with realities like these if you are interested in making a lot of money. If those are market rates, then you can't fight them, if you do, you will eventually find your airline out of business and ALL of your employees out of a job.

Once one airline starts cutting down costs somewhere, all the others have to follow suit. So don't join this business you say. Next time it will be some other business.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 59):
Oh for chrissakes--LH pilots are well compensated by any measure. Half of Europe is being bailed out left and right, and LH pilots are easily in the top 5-10% of wage earners in the EU. I'm not saying they don't deserve more, or less for that matter, but LH pilots have dignity in spades compared to everyone else, especially bus drivers.

Yes they are well compensated, but this cost cutting exercise won't be the last and it'll only get worse over time if this spiral continues.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: Gonzalo
Posted 2013-03-27 09:12:10 and read 6022 times.

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 62):
Yes they are well compensated, but this cost cutting exercise won't be the last and it'll only get worse over time if this spiral continues.

I could be wrong, but I don't see any spiral here. Are this percentages of 5.2 % (or similar) realistic with the current inflation rate and GDP growth in Germany ? I know the economics are not so simple, but if you have a 1,5 % of inflation rate / year, and an economic growth of 0,7 %, you can't ask for wages increasing a 5 %.... or you can, but the answer will be a slap in the face most probably.... Add to this the scenario of countries being bailed out all over your neighborhood, and the things will look even worse.

Rgds.
G.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: YTZ
Posted 2013-03-27 09:31:00 and read 5912 times.

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 62):
Once one airline starts cutting down costs somewhere, all the others have to follow suit.
Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 62):
Yes they are well compensated, but this cost cutting exercise won't be the last and it'll only get worse over time if this spiral continues.

Welcome to the global economy.

If the best argument that you have against cost-cutting is an argument against globalization, then I fear for LH, Germany and Europe. The rest of the world, isn't going to stop its relentless drive for efficiency and lower cost just because LH's employees don't want to participate.

If LH doesn't cut costs, FR, DY and U2 will eat their market at home and the Gulf 3+Tk will eat their long-haul market. Are you prepared to accept a substantially smaller LH with fewer employees? Because that will be the reality if LH can't cut costs to compete with the rest.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: AirPacific747
Posted 2013-03-27 09:36:49 and read 5863 times.

Quoting Gonzalo (Reply 63):

Good point. There may not be a problem in is exact case.

Quoting YTZ (Reply 64):
If the best argument that you have against cost-cutting is an argument against globalization, then I fear for LH, Germany and Europe. The rest of the world, isn't going to stop its relentless drive for efficiency and lower cost just because LH's employees don't want to participate.

Efficiency to an extent where you think the above mentioned working conditions are acceptable in the Western world? It may be possible but is it acceptable?

I hope you'll get to experience the effect of globalization on your job when your wage is cut down to next to nothing and see what you think of that. The only reason why this is possible in aviation is because most pilots are not members of a union.

And I'm not saying pilots should be treated as they are in Lufthansa, but generally a higher minimum standard should be implemented.

[Edited 2013-03-27 09:42:25]

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: aloges
Posted 2013-03-27 10:10:17 and read 5689 times.

Quoting YTZ (Reply 58):
I can appreciate the perspective of an employee.

I am not an LH employee, but self-employed (as a side job apart from university) and my kind of business depends on reliabilty and punctuality like few others.

Quoting RDH3E (Reply 60):
LH management is widely regarded as the best management team in Aviation, so I don't know what you're talking about.

They like to save in wrong places, or too many places. There's a difference between smart economy and stinginess; if I may paraphrase the words of a gate agent at an unnamed German airport: "Ladies and gentlemen, if you have not already done so, please get a gate check tag for your large carry-on item!" And then off the tannoy: "Get as many as you like, they're the only things that Lufthansa give away freely!" Some examples:

labour relations: They have become increasingly confrontational towards their own workforce. The employees have already made considerable concessions, yet the hammerings continue - and as hard as they work to hide it, their disappointment does show every now and then. This latest utterance from the CFO won't help that one bit; on the contrary, it furthers a dreadful "us versus them" mentality that seldom fails at damaging the companies where it prevails.

product quality: They routinely take ages to modernise their on-board products, the most recent embarrassing example being the snail-paced introduction of the new business class. Their old seat is widely regarded as more of a torture instrument than a comfortable place to be, which my personal experience supports.

alienation of frequent fliers: I know that most, if not all airlines, have devalued the FF accounts of their most loyal customers. But I know of no other airline that has actually been sued and lost over the way it has done so; only to appeal, win the case after all and then still make the T&C change required by the plaintiff. What sort of message is that supposed to send, "we'll fight you every step of the way and then do a 180 once we've exhausted you"?

loss of political goodwill: They rely on protectionism to keep the ME3 at bay, but then antagonise politicians through campaigns like "LuftverkehrsTEUER: für alle zu teuer" (silly pun aimed at the German aviation tax - it does need fighting, but not through populism) and through gestures like the recently announced closure of the corporate headquarters in Cologne. The latter might not seem like much, but Cologne is the biggest city in the most populous state of Germany - you just don't poke a city and a state in the eye like that if you need their support.

Quoting RDH3E (Reply 60):
Certainly everyone makes mistakes occasionally, which BMI could probably be classified as, but overall the Management team has been excellent.

Then why are the employees dissatisfied enough to start going on strike even before talks have started? Management that doesn't realise its responsibility towards the workforce cannot be excellent.

As for BMI, you might find the name of (one of) their last CFO(s) interesting: Simone Menne.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: futureualpilot
Posted 2013-03-27 10:29:55 and read 5574 times.

Quoting mozart (Reply 48):
And who tells you that what they are asking for is "fair treatment and just compensation for their time and effort"? Is Lufthansa's level of compensation and organization of work "fair and just"? Or easyjet's?

I already admitted I don't know the entirety of the LH situation, however if the LH labor feels what is being asked is unjust there is validity to their argument.

Quoting mozart (Reply 48):
Whilst I am all for unions and against simplistic statements of the "unions are working against the company's success" kind I find the kind of simplistic statements where employees are the victims just as "unconvincing".

I never said they are victims but they are being asked to give up something they clearly feel is worth fighting for.

Quoting mozart (Reply 48):
Those are the rules of the game. If you don't like them, don't join aviation. It's not even new rules that have come upon them once they started their job. These rules have been around always.

Yes, because those rules are around it is even more important to protect what you do have to ensure your own long term success.

Quoting mozart (Reply 48):

Because what is fair is always in the eye of the beholder.[/quote]

Agreed

Quoting RDH3E (Reply 60):
Broadly speaking there are mechanisms to hold upper management accountable, Shareholder votes. Unions could easily buy up a block of shares and start a proxy war to get rid of certain individuals. Many institutional investors would probably get on board in order to prevent labor unrest. Might not get them a raise per say, but could get them someone more sympathetic to labor at the top.

Management is "held accountable" but not held accountable. Golden parachutes, ease of sliding into high profile jobs elsewhere, and lack of true consequences for pillaging labor groups doesn't scream accountability.

Quoting mozart (Reply 48):
You are joking, right? Fair enough to have a pro-Union point of view, but accusing Lufthansa or other companies not to abide by the contracts that have been signed is quite a substantial accusation. And completely baseless. You dis-credit all your other arguments.

I never said they weren't did I? I made no such accusation, in fact what I was referring to was another post speaking about employers meeting demands. My comment was an agreement that they don't have to meet demands but they do have to meet the terms of contracts they agree to. Nothing accusing anyone of anything so quit putting words in my mouth that aren't there.

[Edited 2013-03-27 10:33:41]

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: Gonzalo
Posted 2013-03-27 14:02:56 and read 4583 times.

Quoting YTZ (Reply 64):
If LH doesn't cut costs, FR, DY and U2 will eat their market at home and the Gulf 3+Tk will eat their long-haul market. Are you prepared to accept a substantially smaller LH with fewer employees? Because that will be the reality if LH can't cut costs to compete with the rest.

One thing related, at least competition wise, is the fact that the main hub of LH, FRA, is limited by a curfew in the operation hours, a problem that no one of the 3ME and TK have in their home base. LH must adequate to the times ahead or face a gradual deterioration of the financial situation. That being said, I think that the statements of S. Menne are, at least, unfortunate.

Rgds.
G.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: YTZ
Posted 2013-03-27 15:03:02 and read 4285 times.

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 65):
Efficiency to an extent where you think the above mentioned working conditions are acceptable in the Western world? It may be possible but is it acceptable?

Entirely acceptable. Okay I'm being slightly facetious. I don't agree with some of sexual harassment stuff at the ME3. But that's a function of the chauvinistic mentality of that part of the world than a reflection on the management of the airline.

Indeed, the ME3 seem to have no issues recruiting workers (many of them European too). If they are such bad places to work, why are people flocking to EK/EY/QR to work while workers at LH contemplate strikes?

So I certainly think what LH is asking is acceptable. Ultimately, the question is an existential one. Can LH survive if it doesn't cut costs? You are only looking at what it might cost you. Now imagine LH eventually goes bankrupt. Are you willing to risk that possibility so that you can enjoy your working conditions for a few more years?

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: PHXFlyer16
Posted 2013-03-27 15:21:39 and read 4211 times.

Quoting YTZ (Reply 69):
So I certainly think what LH is asking is acceptable. Ultimately, the question is an existential one. Can LH survive if it doesn't cut costs? You are only looking at what it might cost you. Now imagine LH eventually goes bankrupt. Are you willing to risk that possibility so that you can enjoy your working conditions for a few more years?

  

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: mozart
Posted 2013-03-28 01:30:32 and read 3937 times.

Quoting seahawk (Reply 52):

5,2% lunatic? That is a very low demand. In Europe so much money has been thrown down the throats of banks and capitalists, It is time that workers see more money.

5.2% pay rise - but what for? To reward them for more work? No, they don't work more. To compensate for higher cost of living? No, inflation is much much lower then that.

So what grounds are there for a 5.2% pay rise? Or do you believe pay rises should be given without any justification? Do you believe that one should not *earn* one's wage?

Quoting aloges (Reply 66):
Then why are the employees dissatisfied enough to start going on strike even before talks have started?

Union tactics. You know their leader. "Smart" guy in a way. Just as the Lufthansa CFO shows her muscles with statements like the one quoted the unions show muscles by warning that they'll go on strike. I believe both are wrong. It is unnecessarily conflictual.

Quoting futureualpilot (Reply 67):
I already admitted I don't know the entirety of the LH situation, however if the LH labor feels what is being asked is unjust there is validity to their argument.

You are joking, aren't you? Only because someone feels that something is unjust the argument is valid?

So if they didn't say 5.2% pay rise but 30% pay rise is just - that would be valid and they should get 30%? If my buddy feels that it is unjust that he doesn't have a Rolls Royce whilst other people do - that would be valid and he should get one? If Mr. Assad feels that UN sanctions against his regime are unjust - that would be valid and they should just stop?

Completely absurd. Or a joke.

Quoting futureualpilot (Reply 67):
Yes, because those rules are around it is even more important to protect what you do have to ensure your own long term success.

Right. So "long term success" means to ask for more money now and to threaten the long-term sustainability of your employment. Interesting.

Quoting aloges (Reply 50):
That's interesting, would you be able to provide some background information?

Told to me by one of the board members who is also on the board of other DAX30 companies.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: seahawk
Posted 2013-03-28 01:47:05 and read 3907 times.

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 53):
it is about LH, not banks. The -what you call "capitalists"- get nothing, I said that before. The conditions under which LH is working has been mentioned as well. The employees (I prefer that term over "workers") should be interested to work for a company that has a sustainable business plan and a firm grip on its costs.

All those cuts are just for the shareholders. It is time the workers get more money - much more money, not just the greedy managers and shareholders. I prefer workers, as this shows the clear class difference between the honest working people and the capitalists and managers.

Europe needs to wake up. If LH reduces the cost of labour, it just increases the pressure on airlines like Alitalie or Iberia. The European governments need to take action and regulate the aviation industrie again.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: mozart
Posted 2013-03-28 02:40:53 and read 3858 times.

Quoting seahawk (Reply 72):
All those cuts are just for the shareholders. It is time the workers get more money - much more money, not just the greedy managers and shareholders.

Hmm. So when shareholders want to increase their returns that is a terrible thing, unethical and they are greedy. But when employees want more money that is a good thing, ethical and they are not greedy. Care to explain?

Also, care to explain WHY the employees should get more money? I asked the question previously, maybe you have the answer. What is it they should get more money for? Because they work more? No, because they do not work more. Because cost of living increases? No, because the cost of living does not increase by 5.2%.

You could argue that when the whole company does well the employees should benefit as well, not just shareholders and managers. I agree. And so does Lufthansa and its unions, which is why they have put in place a scheme by which employees have a benefit-sharing scheme. So they do benefit from a healthy and successful company.

If your sole argument is that employees should get more because shareholders have more then basically your sole justification for higher wages is "jealousy". I am glad that neither Lufthansa nor Germany's social market economy work that way.

Quoting seahawk (Reply 72):
I prefer workers, as this shows the clear class difference between the honest working people and the capitalists and managers.

Please take a look at the calendar. We are in the 21st century. We are no longer in the 19th century where in Europe people were exploited by industrialists who pocketed in all the benefits.

Surely we are all glad that the times of reckless exploitation of people are over. People deserve to be paid for their efforts, they deserve to be protected at their place of work, they deserve to have decent working hours and rest times and paid vacation, they have a right to education and training, and some mechanism must exist to prevent people from being pushed around as if they were screws or pens. All of this happens. And companies in Germany do recognize the value of good employees and they spend lots of money finding the best people and training them (do you know how much it costs Lufthansa to train a pilot? Hundreds of thousands of Euros, and that is before he does his first revenue flight). But all of that doesn't mean that compensation shouldn't be linked to the economics and rules of the sector people are working in. Aviation was lucky in the past because it was a small and regulated industry. Because of regulation - which basically meant exploiting passengers by making them pay very high fares whilst offering less service, less flights, less safety than today - that industry could generate levels of profitability that allowed them to pay their employees wages that were generous. Plus the workings of the industry were such that timetables and long haul technical stops resulted in longer layover times. Today the market is unregulated, competitive and technical progress has made it possible for planes not to require any stopovers with crew layovers any more. Those are the realities of the sector today. If people don't like them they should find work in another sector, but not come in and then make unrealistic and unfounded claims and drool some 19th century gibberish about "honest workers.

It actually would be worthwhile to look into a high school level economics book. It would tell you that there are several production factors at work that each need to be renumerated. Land, capital and labour. Labour is being renumerated for its efforts and expertise, capital for providing capital and for its risk taking. Once that is established a lot of the hollow "the shareholders and managers get more" becomes meaningless.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: Gonzalo
Posted 2013-03-28 04:09:42 and read 3805 times.

Quoting mozart (Reply 73):
Please take a look at the calendar. We are in the 21st century. We are no longer in the 19th century where in Europe people were exploited by industrialists who pocketed in all the benefits.

Surely we are all glad that the times of reckless exploitation of people are over. People deserve to be paid for their efforts, they deserve to be protected at their place of work, they deserve to have decent working hours and rest times and paid vacation, they have a right to education and training, and some mechanism must exist to prevent people from being pushed around as if they were screws or pens. All of this happens. And companies in Germany do recognize the value of good employees and they spend lots of money finding the best people and training them (do you know how much it costs Lufthansa to train a pilot? Hundreds of thousands of Euros, and that is before he does his first revenue flight). But all of that doesn't mean that compensation shouldn't be linked to the economics and rules of the sector people are working in. Aviation was lucky in the past because it was a small and regulated industry. Because of regulation - which basically meant exploiting passengers by making them pay very high fares whilst offering less service, less flights, less safety than today - that industry could generate levels of profitability that allowed them to pay their employees wages that were generous. Plus the workings of the industry were such that timetables and long haul technical stops resulted in longer layover times. Today the market is unregulated, competitive and technical progress has made it possible for planes not to require any stopovers with crew layovers any more. Those are the realities of the sector today. If people don't like them they should find work in another sector, but not come in and then make unrealistic and unfounded claims and drool some 19th century gibberish about "honest workers.

It actually would be worthwhile to look into a high school level economics book. It would tell you that there are several production factors at work that each need to be renumerated. Land, capital and labour. Labour is being renumerated for its efforts and expertise, capital for providing capital and for its risk taking. Once that is established a lot of the hollow "the shareholders and managers get more" becomes meaningless.

Couldn't agree more !!!      

LH is not a cooperative. It is a private company. And it does have a system to share profits with the honest workers.

The ideologies that sounds so good in some books are usually crushed by reality.

Rgds.
G.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: PanHAM
Posted 2013-03-28 05:41:12 and read 3709 times.

Quoting seahawk (Reply 72):

All those cuts are just for the shareholders. It is time the workers get more money - much more money, not just the greedy managers and shareholders.
Quoting seahawk (Reply 72):
All those cuts are just for the shareholders. It is time the workers get more money - much more money, not just the greedy managers and shareholders. I prefer workers, as this shows the clear class difference between the honest working people and the capitalists and managers.

Thanks for the compliments, I am a "greedy" shareholder and I have more than once, in the 20 or so years I am holding LH shares, got nothing, while all employees always still got paid and reduced the earnings that way. How much could i have earned wihtout those greedy employees wanting to get paid,  

mozart has given you already the right answers on your antiquated opinions, there's little to add. except may be that LH is still amongts the most desirable employers in Germany, which means 2 things, no one is forced to work for that company and the company has little problems to fill vacant jobs, should some of the exploited masses find greener pastures elsewhere, may be in some desert area?

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: PHXFlyer16
Posted 2013-03-28 07:14:55 and read 3615 times.

Quoting seahawk (Reply 72):
All those cuts are just for the shareholders. It is time the workers get more money - much more money, not just the greedy managers and shareholders. I prefer workers, as this shows the clear class difference between the honest working people and the capitalists and managers.

Unless I am mistaken, LH is a publicly traded company. As such, the employees are welcome to purchase stock (likely at a discount or with additional benefits) and share in the company's success that way as well. Which can be much more lucrative than a 5% pay raise.

Your argument doesn't hold water and is all about more government regulation. Where has that gotten Europe? .... so now you want event more? How is it the government's role? Unbelievable.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: RDH3E
Posted 2013-03-28 07:25:44 and read 3607 times.

Quoting seahawk (Reply 72):
All those cuts are just for the shareholders. It is time the workers get more money - much more money, not just the greedy managers and shareholders. I prefer workers, as this shows the clear class difference between the honest working people and the capitalists and managers.

I don't know how it works in Germany specifically, but generally here in the US the largest shareholders in major corporations are Pension funds and Insurance companies. Do you know who's money their returns go to benefit? [awkward silence].....Workers.

Also your logic doesn't follow on another point, how do you reconcile a LH "worker" who owns LH stock? Is he a disadvantaged victim or a greedy capitalist? I actually thought about buying some stock right now, but being an ADR here in the US it's a bit expensive, although since this strike talk the stock has dipped a bit   

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2013-03-28 08:29:46 and read 3533 times.

Quoting YTZ (Reply 69):
Indeed, the ME3 seem to have no issues recruiting workers (many of them European too).

Even US and DL have no issues recruiting workers--they've had 50+ applicants for every 1 FA position because guess what--it's a freakin' amazing job and benefits considering the minimum requirements, even in the US, even after multiple bankruptcies and pay cuts.

Quoting seahawk (Reply 72):
It is time the workers get more money - much more money, not just the greedy managers and shareholders.

Nobody is making much money off airlines except for pilots

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: UALWN
Posted 2013-03-28 08:37:04 and read 3514 times.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 78):
Nobody is making much money off airlines except for pilots

And the upper management. Example: Tom Horton's pretension to get $20m for leading AA into bankruptcy...

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: PanHAM
Posted 2013-03-28 08:44:47 and read 3507 times.

Quoting RDH3E (Reply 77):
I don't know how it works in Germany specifically, but generally here in the US the largest shareholders in major corporations are Pension funds and Insurance companies. Do you know who's money their returns go to benefit? [awkward silence].....Workers.

Same here and with the company we are discussing. "Institutional investors" as they are called here, are the largest individual shareholders and when you attend an AGM, lots of "small" people who invest part of their savings into the company and other shares are what seahawk calles capitalists in his antiquated, 19th century diction.

The Lufthansa shares are name shares as by law the majority of the owners must be German nationals. A single individual owner would be outstanding. besides, what would be wrong with that anyhow.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2013-03-28 08:48:08 and read 3511 times.

Quoting UALWN (Reply 79):

And the upper management. Example: Tom Horton's pretension to get $20m for leading AA into bankruptcy...

Yeah, one guy, which is admittedly ludicrous and the bankruptcy judge questioned. Even Arpey turned down the golden parachute.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: mozart
Posted 2013-03-29 02:17:55 and read 3248 times.

Interesting to note that all our class warriors seem to have left the discussion.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: PanHAM
Posted 2013-03-29 02:58:56 and read 3215 times.

They are either spending their long easter weekend holidays somewhere in the warmer zones of Europe and the hard core fraction attends thr easter marches.

 

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: seahawk
Posted 2013-03-29 03:34:52 and read 3173 times.

There is nothing much to discuss. LH can not drop costs to a level that would match the middle eastern carriers. Even if they are able to reduce costs this around, it would mainly increase pressure on other European airliners, not on the Gulf carriers.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: mozart
Posted 2013-03-29 04:38:50 and read 3115 times.

Quoting seahawk (Reply 84):

There is nothing much to discuss. LH can not drop costs to a level that would match the middle eastern carriers. Even if they are able to reduce costs this around, it would mainly increase pressure on other European airliners, not on the Gulf carriers.

That shifts the discussion from class war to a much more sensible discussion of strategy and competition.

Whilst I do believe that the ME3 are indeed here to stay, improving competitiveness in the European context is a good thing. This is where Lufthansa is losing money.

Not sure whether you or someone else argued that it wouldn't be a good thing to lower costs because others would need to then do the same, resulting in other airlines' employees needing to make sacrifices. Let me illustrate the alternative: today Lufthansa and other legacy carriers are losing money on their European network, only easy/Ryan and a couple of niche players are making money. Do you want to suggest that Lufthansa and the legacies should not reduce costs and that they all should just keep on losing money? And then what? You do understand that they will eventually shut down, leaving the market for Ryan and easy. These two will then dictate prices, and they will increase prices. So you'll end up with many jobless people and high air fares. I cannot see any benefit in that.

I am still baffled by how some people refuse to understand that to for customers to benefit from attractive prices and a wide choice of services/products there must be several companies in the industry; having only two will lead to high prices and bad service. For those several players to be able to be around they must earn money, continiously losing money will wipe them out. Or is there something wrong with this line of argument?

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: Pihero
Posted 2013-03-29 06:57:10 and read 3047 times.

Quoting mozart (Reply 82):
Interesting to note that all our class warriors seem to have left the discussion.

A comment that in my opinion is uncalled for.
Not knowing the workers' situation at Lufthansa, I don't feel able to discuss union - management négociations / fights ...
What I know, though, is that painting workers with a broad brush of ** ineptitude**, **suicidal**, **out of date** appreciations is at the very least despising and/or condescending... A modicum of respect is urgently needed in this thread.

For any airline, wage control is just a way of improving results ; one way among others : productivity increase is another that's in the LH management agenda.

What amuses me is the common view of most of the posters from across the Atlantic : all is rosy and they can - and do - give lessons to these poor pinko workers of the **old Europe** a certain neo-con had described ten years ago.
As if - to take just one example - robbing UAL and USair workers of their pension fund was an act of courage and a sign of good management...   ( actually, the ceo's 4.5 million $ wasn't touched ).

Please look into your own glass house before casting stones at your neighbour's.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2013-03-29 07:04:48 and read 3037 times.

Quoting Pihero (Reply 86):
As if - to take just one example - robbing UAL and USair workers of their pension fund was an act of courage and a sign of good management

No one is saying it's a sign of good management. It is a sign that all other options have left the building, through years of industry, government, union and management missteps. The EU is going through the exact same things the US went through about 1-2 decades ago, and whereas the US rightly or wrongly has CH11, the EU does not. So either costs needs to come down, or capacity needs to come out, either willingly or through a failure. Now are you going to tell us that an outright failure of a carrier (like MA, for example) is better than CH11 bankruptcy?

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: PanHAM
Posted 2013-03-29 07:26:50 and read 3019 times.

There is no chapter 11 in Germany which is good for all concerned, but if a company goes bankcrupt, the recently revised (in Germany) bankcruptcy laws focus on continuation rather than liquidation.Only if a reorgansation is without chances to return to profitability a company will cease to exist.

Now I believe that we all agree that LH is not the carrier in Europe that is most likely to cross the Jordan. There are a couple of small and bigger ones having lower numbers in the queue. Your example with MA simply draws the attention to the fact that national carriers of smaller nations are a thing of the past. They flock either under the umbrellas of big parent carriers or quit.

What LH is doing right now is nothing less than accepting the challenges of the market. The management is taking the firm through a fitness progam that will, when successfully concluded, result in a competetive carrier that can take up the challenges of the EU LCC as well as the ME3.

The biggest problem of the LH board is that "competetive" is not a household word in Germany. Our industry in total is highly competetive, otherwise we would not stand where we are. The non industrial (public) sector is not keeping up and what happened at F1 last week still keeps me speechless. Since when does one have to apologise for winning?

[Edited 2013-03-29 07:47:43]

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: douglasyxz
Posted 2013-03-29 07:35:50 and read 3000 times.

Quoting seahawk (Reply 72):

In the same press release LH announced to buy new, fuel-efficient planes, they said they would not pay a dividend. I can't see shareholders get money while 'workers' don't do.

LH is facing a hard time not only by the ME3 but also by increasing fuel prices, low fares on European connections and so on. What happens if an airline is not able to adjust its operations to the actual demand of the market can be seen in the disappearance of Pan Am, Malev for instance, and the trouble Alitalia, LOT, SAS and others are in. There is no other way to survive as to adopt to the market. That is easy said but pretty hard executed. And that is what economy is all about: Earn more money than you spend to keep your company alive. A company must grow continuously in order to stay healthy as the over-all expenses increase kind of automatically. Once company's profit remains static for a while, then drops - that is the beginning of the end (unless you are in communist county).

I strongly disagree with your view of so-called "true workers" and managers and I believe you've never experienced a managers daily business. Not to mention the difference in working hours, nor the result if one or the other makes a wrong decision. I'm definitely NOT saying that one is more valuable than the other. Both are needed to run a business. That is true for aviation, true for car manufacturing, a hospital...

As for the 5,2%, all of us know, at the end it will be something in between 0 and 5,2. Not need here to argue the value of 5,2 being higher than inflation. Unions are an achievement of the 20th century we should be proud of. They fight for the rights of employees whereas top management fights for the companies health (yes, and for the shareholders value too).
The problem with the fight within aviation is that usually passengers are paying the price: during the strike in having difficulties to travel, after an agreement in eventually higher fares or less service.

I truly hope LH and unions will soon find a solution that is acceptable for both sides and does not lead into long-lasting strikes all-over Germany.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: mozart
Posted 2013-03-29 07:40:53 and read 2991 times.

Quoting Pihero (Reply 86):
A comment that in my opinion is uncalled for.

But founded by some substance, as objectively any observer, political scientist or economist or other, would put the following choice of language in the category of "class war":

Quoting seahawk (Reply 72):
All those cuts are just for the shareholders. It is time the workers get more money - much more money, not just the greedy managers and shareholders. I prefer workers, as this shows the clear class difference between the honest working people and the capitalists and managers.

And since the poster making that statement had not come back to the discussion since some time it was a factual observation that he had left the discussion. Nothing wrong with that I believe.

Quoting Pihero (Reply 86):
Not knowing the workers' situation at Lufthansa, I don't feel able to discuss union - management négociations / fights ...
What I know, though, is that painting workers with a broad brush of ** ineptitude**, **suicidal**, **out of date** appreciations is at the very least despising and/or condescending... A modicum of respect is urgently needed in this thread.

For any airline, wage control is just a way of improving results ; one way among others : productivity increase is another that's in the LH management agenda.

What amuses me is the common view of most of the posters from across the Atlantic : all is rosy and they can - and do - give lessons to these poor pinko workers of the **old Europe** a certain neo-con had described ten years ago.
As if - to take just one example - robbing UAL and USair workers of their pension fund was an act of courage and a sign of good management...   ( actually, the ceo's 4.5 million $ wasn't touched ).

Please look into your own glass house before casting stones at your neighbour's.

Fully agree with all your statements, about not stereotyping workers (nor shareholders for that matter), about simplistic views of Europe from across the Atlantic that *certain* posters seem to have.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: L410Turbolet
Posted 2013-03-29 08:26:00 and read 2948 times.

Quoting seahawk (Reply 72):
It is time the workers get more money - much more money, not just the greedy managers and shareholders. I prefer workers, as this shows the clear class difference between the honest working people and the capitalists and managers.

While not sure whether I should simply laugh or shake my head in disbelief over this 19th century rhetoric taken straight from the pages of Communist Manifesto, I am quite sure this mindset is often present among union bosses and their more militant followers.

Quoting seahawk (Reply 72):
The European governments need to take action and regulate the aviation industrie again.

...and people like you will be the very first complaining again... this time about flying being a privilege only for the "rich". Even more regulation (as if there was not enough of it coming from Brussels) is not the way to tackle economic reality of the 21st century, just as it is not forcing everyone to have same tax levels all over the EU, which is the tired old mantra of French socialists... regardles of their formal political affiliation.

[Edited 2013-03-29 08:27:01]

[Edited 2013-03-29 08:34:24]

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: PHXFlyer16
Posted 2013-03-29 09:43:30 and read 2888 times.

Quoting Pihero (Reply 86):
What amuses me is the common view of most of the posters from across the Atlantic : all is rosy and they can - and do - give lessons to these poor pinko workers of the **old Europe** a certain neo-con had described ten years ago.

All is not rosy here. What we are doing with entitlements is unsustainable. What Europe, and especially France is doing is even more unsustainable.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: Pihero
Posted 2013-03-29 10:08:47 and read 2866 times.

Quoting PHXFlyer16 (Reply 92):
All is not rosy here. What we are doing with entitlements is unsustainable. What Europe, and especially France is doing is even more unsustainable.

Care to compare debts / wages / social security / Medicare... ?
I daresay the US is far closer to bankrupcy than France.
... or the EU.

[Edited 2013-03-29 10:36:35]

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: Pihero
Posted 2013-03-29 10:16:49 and read 2852 times.

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 91):
Even more regulation (as if there was not enough of it coming from Brussels) is not the way to tackle economic reality of the 21st century, just as it is not forcing everyone to have same tax levels all over the EU, which is the tired old mantra of French socialists...

When these *tired old socialists* participate in paying 150€ per year per Czech citizen, the first thing in order is say "Thank you".
Of course, you can elect to leave the EU...
Would you ?

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: AAIL86
Posted 2013-03-29 10:47:50 and read 2804 times.

Quoting PHXFlyer16 (Reply 76):
Your argument doesn't hold water and is all about more government regulation. Where has that gotten Europe? .... so now you want event more? How is it the government's role? Unbelievable.

You mean kind of like here in the US, where the dysfunction of the financial system nearly destroyed the world economy in ’08-’09? Instead of prosecuting those who treated the world economy like a weekend trip to Vegas, we continue to enable then to make decisions for us…

Quoting seahawk (Reply 84):
There is nothing much to discuss. LH can not drop costs to a level that would match the middle eastern carriers. Even if they are able to reduce costs this around, it would mainly increase pressure on other European airliners, not on the Gulf carriers.

Exactly. None of us would like it if our manger bolted in and informed us that we would have to be compensated based on what workers in other less developed regions make.

For a little hypothetical fun, let’s say I was able to start a large airline based in Somalia next month, and use slave labor to fill all positions. Now I understand that this hypothetical is extremely far-fetched – but you should be able to see the point. No airline on earth could compete with my cost advantage. People would flock to my carrier to take advantage of the great fares I could offer....

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: tommytoyz
Posted 2013-03-29 10:53:06 and read 2796 times.

Quoting Pihero (Reply 86):
What I know, though, is that painting workers with a broad brush of ** ineptitude**, **suicidal**, **out of date** appreciations is at the very least despising and/or condescending... A modicum of respect is urgently needed in this thread.

For any airline, wage control is just a way of improving results ; one way among others : productivity increase is another that's in the LH management agenda.

What amuses me is the common view of most of the posters from across the Atlantic : all is rosy and they can - and do - give lessons to these poor pinko workers of the **old Europe** a certain neo-con had described ten years ago.
As if - to take just one example - robbing UAL and USair workers of their pension fund was an act of courage and a sign of good management... ( actually, the ceo's 4.5 million $ wasn't touched ).

Please look into your own glass house before casting stones at your neighbour's.

Couldn't agree more.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: PHXFlyer16
Posted 2013-03-29 11:40:59 and read 2754 times.

Quoting Pihero (Reply 93):
Care to compare debts / wages / social security / Medicare... ?
I daresay the US is far closer to bankrupcy than France.
... or the EU.

Sure. Overall debt to GDP% in France is lower than the US by about 10%. However, France and Germany and also at the mercy of Greece, Italy, Portugal and Belgium. Germany can not continue to bail out the rest of Europe forever... And you just saw that in Cyprus. So now the EU has set the precedent that bank accounts can be raided by the government to cover debts.

When this precedent has been set people will keep less money in the banks. With less money in the banks business and individuals will be able to get less financing for growth, further compounding the debt crisis since tax revenue will decrease... then the EU countries will raise their taxes even higher. It's a viscous death spiral that will not end well.

The US has it's own problems with debt and programs like social security and medicare. Mainly because we adopted European-like welfare programs where there is less incentive for people to work and grow their wealth.

The difference is that the US has some flexibility. Unlike the EU, the US can print money. It's not a great idea as it causes inflation but it is a tool that can be used in moderation to support the financial needs of the country.

Let's also compare unemployment. Countries like Spain with 26% unemployment, Italy and France with 11%. Again, less revenue coming in, higher taxes, less incentive to work and earn higher wages.

Quoting Pihero (Reply 93):
I daresay the US is far closer to bankrupcy than France.
... or the EU.

Lots of problems in both the US and Europe, but if you honestly believe the above statement, well... let's just say you are contributing to the problem.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: PHXFlyer16
Posted 2013-03-29 11:45:59 and read 2745 times.

Quoting AAIL86 (Reply 95):
Exactly. None of us would like it if our manger bolted in and informed us that we would have to be compensated based on what workers in other less developed regions make.

Guess what? The world doesn't care! Yes we would all hate for that to happen, but you have to accept the reality of markets. You cannot artificially manipulate markets. It has never worked and it continues not to work.

So you're saying that because people don't like it and because they need to earn more than other competing airlines that LH should just pay more and continue to raise prices and lose more and more passengers to the competition.

The economy is now global. And there are some very large emerging economies. That's reality. Compete or die.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: L410Turbolet
Posted 2013-03-29 11:52:09 and read 2735 times.

Quoting Pihero (Reply 94):
When these *tired old socialists* participate in paying 150%u20AC per year per Czech citizen, the first thing in order is say "Thank you".

Now, imagine how the Americans must feel... if it wasn't for their Marshall Plan you'd be still sitting on WW2 ruins making sure you are not working too hard. They paid for the reconstruction of half of Europe from which it benefits to this day and yet the French in particular spent the entire Cold War actively sabotaging NATO (I guess it must have been out of sheer gratitude for being liberated by the Yanks, the Brits, the Canadians and even the bloody Poles).

Quoting Pihero (Reply 94):
Of course, you can elect to leave the EU...

If there was a viable option how to leave the Titanic, I certainly would.

[Edited 2013-03-29 12:25:44]

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: AAIL86
Posted 2013-03-29 12:02:29 and read 2717 times.

Quoting PHXFlyer16 (Reply 98):
So you're saying that because people don't like it and because they need to earn more than other competing airlines that LH should just pay more and continue to raise prices and lose more and more passengers to the competition.

The economy is now global. And there are some very large emerging economies. That's reality. Compete or die.

Forgive the sarcasm, but no airline worldwide, even the Gulf carrers, could compete with my slave-staffed airline based in Somalia.

Quoting PHXFlyer16 (Reply 97):
The US has it's own problems with debt and programs like social security and medicare. Mainly because we adopted European-like welfare programs where there is less incentive for people to work and grow their wealth.

And massive amounts of unneeded military spending.

[Edited 2013-03-29 12:03:19]

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: douglasyxz
Posted 2013-03-29 12:18:12 and read 2694 times.

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 99):
"If there was a viable option how to leave the Titanic, I certainly would."

Oh Lord... Leave the EU and live on an island right in the middle of Europe? Smart move.  
Leaving the EU would hit your economy pretty bad, that is for sure.

We are a slighly off topic, don't you think so?

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: Pihero
Posted 2013-03-29 14:03:25 and read 2651 times.

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 99):
Now, imagine how the Americans must feel... if it wasn't for their Marshall Plan you'd be still sitting on WW2 ruins making sure you are not working too hard.

Read a bit more on history, my friend : France has paid back, to the last cent the loans from the Marshall plan. It was a matter of pride for De Gaulle who didn't want to owe any debt to anybody.
General Marshall was a great man and a visionaire but we aren't gullible enough to believe that our American friends did it for philanthropic reasons only : An affluent European economy was the greatest protection against any soviet ... *transgression*... plus a convenient outlet for commerce.

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 99):
the French in particular spent the entire Cold War actively sabotaging NATO

I'd be really grateful for references on that subject, because I really don't know what you're talking about.

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 99):
liberated by the Yanks, the Brits, the Canadians and even the bloody Poles).

Tss Tss Tss, you are being unfair to the Australians, the New-Zelanders, the Indians, the Senegalese, the Malians, the Moroccans, the Algerians and Tunisians, the Chadians, the Nepalese Gurkhas ... every year, the flags of these countries are displayed in my big prioral gothic Church... and the bells toll.
You won't teach us remembrance of past debts, I'm afraid.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: mozart
Posted 2013-03-29 14:29:15 and read 2629 times.

Quoting douglasyxz (Reply 101):
Oh Lord... Leave the EU and live on an island right in the middle of Europe? Smart move.

Works very well for Switzerland thank you very much. Growth rates much higher than in the EU, unemployment much lower, very low public debt, many recent years with budget surplus, top ranks in innovation and competitiveness, a first class social + health + school system despite reasonable tax rates. I don't know a lot about Norway but they seem to be doing quite OK as well (difference being that the Swiss do not have any commodity boom).

Just saying.

Quoting Pihero (Reply 102):
I'd be really grateful for references on that subject, because I really don't know what you're talking about.

I think what he has in mind is France leaving the joint military command of NATO in 1966 under Charles de Gaulle and only joining it again under Sarkozy in 2009.

I won't be part of any debate whether this is "sabotage" of NATO or smart geopolitics or whatever else, just trying to second guess which facts of history could have been alluded to by the poster.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: Pihero
Posted 2013-03-29 14:46:41 and read 2600 times.

Quoting mozart (Reply 103):
I think what he has in mind is France leaving the joint military command of NATO in 1966 under Charles de Gaulle and only joining it again under Sarkozy in 2009.

A myopic view with blinkers... Just what I thought.

Quoting mozart (Reply 103):

I won't be part of any debate whether this is "sabotage" of NATO or smart geopolitics or whatever else, just trying to second guess which facts of history could have been alluded to by the poster.

Non. Vaut mieux pas. (better not )
Regards.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: mozart
Posted 2013-03-29 14:56:02 and read 2592 times.

Quoting Pihero (Reply 104):
A myopic view with blinkers... Just what I thought.

Again, not my view (the topic is far more complex and off topic), just second guessing. I hope the poster comes back and clarifies whether this is what he had in mind.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: Aviaco
Posted 2013-03-29 15:03:49 and read 2585 times.

The whole thread should be more focussed on HOW she sent the message..
Maybe she is right, maybe she is not.
But she decided to use a quite unintegrating wording.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: mozart
Posted 2013-03-29 15:10:12 and read 2585 times.

Quoting Aviaco (Reply 106):
Maybe she is right, maybe she is not.
But she decided to use a quite unintegrating wording.

Exactly.

I personally find that she was unnecessarily aggressive and conflictual. So are some of the union leaders (Bsirske is quite a warrior himself), but that doesn't justify her choice of tone.

Sure, Lufthansa needs to reduce personnel cost, but is it really necessary to make the employees your enemies?

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: Pihero
Posted 2013-03-29 15:24:56 and read 2568 times.

Quoting PHXFlyer16 (Reply 97):
. So now the EU has set the precedent that bank accounts can be raided by the government to cover debts.

I amalways amazed at the type of sweeping statement that is the normal reporting ways of US journalists.
Far from raiding the banks, the Cyprus government is bailing the banks out, on the deposits that are, to say the least, unclear. See a more objective report from the Brits no one can accuse of excessive love for the EU :

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21922110

Quoting PHXFlyer16 (Reply 97):
The US has it's own problems with debt and programs like social security and medicare. Mainly because we adopted European-like welfare programs where there is less incentive for people to work and grow their wealth.

You can't compare both continents, even if you reject the blame on a European model : 15% of the US population is under the poverty threshold... that's 46.2 million people. ... 15.7 % have no medical coverage... That's 48.6 million people
As a comparison, France poors are 7.1% of the population and everybody has access to medical care.

Reference : http://www.census.gov/prod/2012pubs/p60-243.pdf

Quoting PHXFlyer16 (Reply 97):
The difference is that the US has some flexibility. Unlike the EU, the US can print money. It's not a great idea as it causes inflation but it is a tool that can be used in moderation to support the financial needs of the country.

Yes, you're right : not a very good idea.
And no, you're wrong, the EU can print money, too but has refrained from doing so.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: PHXFlyer16
Posted 2013-03-29 15:49:58 and read 2543 times.

Quoting Pihero (Reply 108):
I amalways amazed at the type of sweeping statement that is the normal reporting ways of US journalists.
Far from raiding the banks, the Cyprus government is bailing the banks out, on the deposits that are, to say the least, unclear. See a more objective report from the Brits no one can accuse of excessive love for the EU :

What are you talking about? The article clearly states "At both banks, deposits above 100,000 euros will be used by the government to contribute billions towards the bailout." This was requested by the EU. So now, not only do they tax, but they seize assets that have already been taxed.

Quoting Pihero (Reply 108):
You can't compare both continents, even if you reject the blame on a European model : 15% of the US population is under the poverty threshold... that's 46.2 million people. ... 15.7 % have no medical coverage... That's 48.6 million people
As a comparison, France poors are 7.1% of the population and everybody has access to medical care.

And your point? We are talking about the economic environments in Europe and the US. So EU countries tax the crap out of everyone to provide benefits that are not sustainable long-term. So does the US, just not to the same extent.

Our nation was founded on hard work and people who came to America to earn their own way. They didn't want or need handouts from the government. If someone doesn't want to work, or educate themselves so that they can find a job then that is their issue. It is not my responsibility or the responsibility of the government to pay for lazy people. Want medical coverage? Get a job. There are programs for the elderly and disabled.

Quoting Pihero (Reply 108):
Yes, you're right : not a very good idea.
And no, you're wrong, the EU can print money, too but has refrained from doing so.

My mistake. I meant that individual countries within the EU cannot print currency so nations like Cyprus are at the mercy of the EU's demands to raid bank accounts.

Quoting Aviaco (Reply 106):
The whole thread should be more focussed on HOW she sent the message..
Maybe she is right, maybe she is not.
But she decided to use a quite unintegrating wording.

What does it matter? We are going to focus a whole thread on HOW someone delivered a message? Who cares! She did it. I think it is right and fair to focus on WHY she delivered the message. The economic realities are WHY she delivered the message and are much more worthy of discussion than asking of someone delivered a message too harshly. We can wrap that up in two seconds! Was it harsh? Maybe. But who really cares? What is the driver? Why is she saying what she's saying. That is just as worthy of discussion.

[Edited 2013-03-29 15:50:43]

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: douglasyxz
Posted 2013-03-29 15:57:00 and read 2535 times.

Quoting mozart (Reply 103):
I do know very well Switzerland is in good shape. But they have always been independent and neutral.
I was referring to Czech, currently member of EU and the quote of an A.netter to LEAVE the Titanic.

The statement of Mrs. Menne is not wrong from LH's point of view. The company must become more efficient, there is no doubt about. The timing and the way she said it will probably not help in the negotiations. One has to bear in mind that there is more trouble ahead when LH staff and aircraft will be transferred to 4U. Then we have two levels of payment inside one company with even one more reason for a union to start fighting LH.

What worries me most is the fact that LH had though about the BA solution to give up the European connections before they decided to use 4U.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: Pihero
Posted 2013-03-29 16:06:36 and read 2532 times.

Quoting PHXFlyer16 (Reply 109):
Our nation was founded on hard work and people who came to America to earn their own way. They didn't want or need handouts from the government. If someone doesn't want to work, or educate themselves so that they can find a job then that is their issue. It is not my responsibility or the responsibility of the government to pay for lazy people. Want medical coverage? Get a job. There are programs for the elderly and disabled.

After this post,, what I can say is let's agree to disagree. We've already taken too much bandwidth.
As for the "bail out ", it's about saving the bank (s), i.e; protecting the ^people who would be hit the hardest by a bank default. That has now been avoided, and honestly, I don't give a damn about Russian deposits - at the origin of the debacle when Greek assets were lost.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: douglasyxz
Posted 2013-03-29 16:29:11 and read 2509 times.

Quoting PHXFlyer16 (Reply 109):
What you don't understand is that there is a different culture of communication in the US, Europe, China, Japan...
You cannot just transfer your hire and fire behavior to the rest of the world and assume you are the only one who knows the right way.

What's happening in Cyprus is that EU is about to prevent the entire country from falling into bankruptcy. And the request that Cyprus citicens do contribute to that help. It was not the EU that led to this situation, it was the Cyprus government and their financial economy.

I fully agree with you, Pihero.

[Edited 2013-03-29 16:31:57]

[Edited 2013-03-29 16:33:03]

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: mozart
Posted 2013-03-29 18:50:27 and read 2449 times.

Quoting PHXFlyer16 (Reply 109):
We are going to focus a whole thread on HOW someone delivered a message? Who cares!

Different parts of the world have different mentalities and sensitivities. In the US people seem to be much less sensitive how things are said. The fact that in the US many people haven't got more than a rudimentary mastering of the English language goes hand in hand with that (extremely reduced vocabulary, simplistic syntax and grammar, all direct speech, plenty of unnecessary filler words), as goes the fact that it is much more common for leaders to use language which comes across as "muscular" and "sleeves rolls up". In Germany such language comes across as offensive, and in France it comes across as both offensive and vulgar. The Americans might think that the French are all softies, but the French tend to think that Americans are uneducated and simple-minded.

Furthermore, Germany is a country where employers and employees typically are not confrontative. There are some spats around the time contracts get negotiated, but other than that they actually collaborate very well. There are many reasons for that, some cultural, some are rooted in how careers typically develop and how the labour market works. In such a context confrontational language like the one used by the CFO of Lufthansa stands out.

Of course these are gross generalizations, I only make them to illustrate the point why HOW this type of message is delivered matters much more in a European context than it would in the US. That's life, get used to it.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: tommytoyz
Posted 2013-03-29 20:19:45 and read 2416 times.

I think you can sum up European mentality towards money this way:

Pay Cut Requested By VW CEO

http://blog.checkeredflag.com/my_web...02/pay-cut-requested-by-vw-ceo.htm

The German media reported it in much more detail. The CEO basically said he makes more than enough money and asked for less. Europeans are simply much less obsessed with money than Americans are.

I've lived in Germany for 10 years and now in the US. I think I am qualified to draw a comparison.

That's why you'll often get Americans thinking they have it better with lower taxation and that the more personal wealth = more happiness. And you'll often get Europeans thinking they have it better with more vacation, infrastructure, education, health care etc....and where high personal wealth is not impressive at beast and obscene at worst.

Two world views. To each his own.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: Pihero
Posted 2013-03-30 03:36:36 and read 2315 times.

I hope the two latest posts on this thread will help forumers understand each other across an ocean better.
Thank you both, Mozart and Tommytoyz.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: mozart
Posted 2013-03-30 03:55:20 and read 2301 times.

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 114):

Very true. Although it is worthwhile noting that there are huge differences between European countries.

I made that experience recently when I was invited to speak at a conference in France and a recent Swiss popular vote about executive pay was brought up. I was asked to explain why the Swiss who tend to be economically liberal had - as the panel chair put it - "voted to cap the salaries of big bosses". It took a long time to explain to (the French part of) the audience that the vote was not about capping salaries and that extremely high compensation packages were still going to be happening in the future. What was voted was that shareholders have a say in executive compensation instead of just the board, in order to prevent boards packed with friends of management to do them a favour so that those managers who are on other boards return the favour. Also the vote wants to prevent that executives get big compensation packages when the company isn't doing well, or simply for accepting employment or as a golden parachute. The vote was an expression of Swiss mentality that there is nothing wrong with having or earning lots of money as long *as it is deserved*. In Switzerland, "justice" means that you get what you truly earn, not what some buddy on the board hands you as a personal favour. It is that Swiss notion of justice that was meant to be put in place.

The French had difficulties understanding this and many were disappointed because they had hoped that another country was going to serve as an example for capping executive pay. in France the culture is much more one where "justice" is comparing how much one has versus someone else. People get all excited about an executive making x times more than a clerk, and people get all excited about executives making large sums of money. Large sums of money are obscene in their own right, hardly is a look taken of whether the compensated is deserved or not. Therefore there also is a lot of talk of capping the highest compensation as a multiple of the lowest wage, with all being regulated by law. The idea of shareholders - who often are seen as evil capitalists exploiting poor workers - deciding how much they pay management and possibly approving big pay checks is unthinkable. Here "justice" is not as much merit driven but more jealousy driven, it is not "pay what you deserve" but "a certain amount of money is too much for you and why do you get more than someone else".

There is a similar movement in Switzerland where the Socialist Party wants to put in place legislation that the highest compensation cannot be more than 12 times the lowest, similar to what many people in France call for. It is however almost 100% certain that such a proposition will not be adopted by voters in Switzerland (in France they don't even get asked). Switzerland is fixing what economists call the "principal-agent-problem", France is trying to solve a moral problem.

There is obviously a lot more in the background in terms of culture, history (having the French revolution or the Swiss urge for freedom in your DNA changes quite a number of things), how labour relations have developed over time, how careers develop, how people get trained, etc.

Lastly an interesting anecdote from Germany: there a couple of weeks ago the union leader at Volkswagen *defended* the high salary of the CEO and said he wouldn't have any problem for him to even take his full compensation pack. He said "I prefer paying EUR 16 million to the CEO of Volkswagen who generates several billions of profits and secures our jobs in the long run than to pay just a tenth of that to the CEO of Peugeot who generates losses and threatens the long terms prospects of the company and its employees". That statement shows that usually there usually isn't a big divide between employers and employees in Germany. Both sides understand that they need each other and that they need to get on with each other. Obviously there are often differences, even substantial ones, but it's rarely "us versus them".

Which is why the statement and tone by Lufthansa's CFO raise eyebrows for its divisive and confrontational nature. To many people in the US who are used and like jingoism and confrontational "straight talk" this may seem "soft". But that is because they omit to recognize that there are people and entire countries in Europe who are absolutely pro-business and pro-freedom and anti-big government, whilst nevertheless espousing a model of collective collaboration and collective responsibility. France may be more towards one end of the spectrum and - rightly or wrongly - is used as the example where a certain business model goes wrong. But Germany and even more so Switzerland are examples of countries where a variant of the European model actually works (and I am sure that there are other countries, except that I do not have as much insight/own experience/own cultural background as in these three).

Therefore: yes, Lufthansa needs to transform and lower personnel costs. But a statement like the one by Ms. Menne is foolish, unnecessary and in the end counterproductive.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: seahawk
Posted 2013-03-30 04:18:00 and read 2290 times.

Quoting Aviaco (Reply 106):
The whole thread should be more focussed on HOW she sent the message..
Maybe she is right, maybe she is not.
But she decided to use a quite unintegrating wording.

That is not surprising considering the aggressive approach VERDI has taken in recent conflicts. And we know that VERDI is usually tamer than the pilots and FA unions.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: PHXFlyer16
Posted 2013-03-30 07:53:21 and read 2216 times.

The statement is a product of her frustration with the Unions continuing to want more and more. She was trying to make it crystal clear that it won't be tolerated. That strikes will not get workers what they want.

If you give a mouse a cookie...

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: chootie
Posted 2013-03-30 08:52:06 and read 2162 times.

Hi all!!!

IMO Ms. Menne should just take her broom and fly off to someplace for inappropriate behavior.

Problem at hand is that, most of the LH employees on the grond ahve had at least 10-15-20 if not more years with the company. They have taken concession after concession, and have made the company what it is today. Ms. "High-and-Mighty" should take a course in human rescources/public relations.

Yes it is a company, and yes they have to make cash--why does everyone feel the easiest way is to cut the personel costs where lots of other costs could be cut???

Does LH really need all those new aircraft---if most of the fleet is now paid for???
Does LH really need all those comfort offices and FENG-SHUI gardens in their FRA offices?
Does LH really need to destroy company identity and cohesion?
.......And if she succeeds, she gets the BIG bonus??

In a theoretical world it works, in real life, it is just bogus crap.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: PanHAM
Posted 2013-03-30 10:23:31 and read 2096 times.

I could be nasty now and tell you what you could do with the broom stick, but I don't do that.

On your three questions

yes
yes
yes

and they explore all the other means and ways where costs can be cut. From what can be heard, the score is better than expected.

Read what Mozart and others wrote about corporate culture and how "big boni" are looked at in Europe.

People are doing their job and what Ms. Menne does ain't easy, as one can see from your post.And again, no one is forced to work for a specific company. FRA has a high employment rate and the number of unemploed is small. That goes for most major airport cities in germany.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: mozart
Posted 2013-03-30 10:53:03 and read 2076 times.

Quoting chootie (Reply 119):

There are peope that have seen the structure of their compesnation changed over the past 15 years, true. In the past the company could do exteremely well and they would not see any benefit of that although it was their work and their effort which also contributed to that success. Therefore employee benefit schemes were introduced. Or do you think shareholders should be the only ones benefiting from exceptionally good years? I'd be surprised to hear you say that.

Changes in compensation structure has allowed Lufthansa to be successful and arguably among the most sucessful airlines in Europe in the past 8-10 years. This success secured the jobs of those people that were there. And what is more it has also created thousands of additional jobs, at LH and at suppliers and contractors. What is it that you don't like about employment?

Why you think that personnel costs are the only ones being reduced is a mystery to me, maybe you are simply misinformed. Many operational changes are happening, the network is being restructured, drastic cuts are being made on the passenger front (just ask any of the top tier members of Miles & More, they will tell you that being a HON Circle or Senator card holder is today much devalued compared to many years ago), and lastly you forget the biggest effort of them all: shifting non-hub short haul flying to Germanwings. The company is making HUGE efforts to modernize itself and transform itself to be ready for the next decade, it is taking some very substantial strategic risks in doing so (shifting pax to Germanwings bears a huge risk) - so there is much more than only cutting personnel cost. On top of that shareholders have to contribute as well: they do not receive any dividend, instead the capital is used to fund that transformation and also the integration of new, more cost efficient planes into the fleet.

Sorry to say but I do find your point of view extremely narrow. I do recognize that many people at Lufthansa make sacrifices and huge efforts. But that whining about them being the only ones, that fantasy about them "deserving" more salary (what for?) and always jealously looking at how much managers get is unhelpful and actually quite sick.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: Gonzalo
Posted 2013-03-30 18:53:20 and read 1960 times.

Quoting mozart (Reply 116):
the union leader at Volkswagen *defended* the high salary of the CEO and said he wouldn't have any problem for him to even take his full compensation pack. He said "I prefer paying EUR 16 million to the CEO of Volkswagen who generates several billions of profits and secures our jobs in the long run than to pay just a tenth of that to the CEO of Peugeot who generates losses and threatens the long terms prospects of the company and its employees

The logic and smart thinking in this attitude should be widely informed among the unión leaders of several countries around the world, including mine.

LH must adapt to the new reality or face serious degradation of their position in Europe. If the unions fail to see this, the further degradation of the company could take the discussion about wages to a discussion about lay offs, ala IB, and I guess that is the worst case scenario for them.

Just curious, no one from the LH unions commented anything about the words of Mss. Menne ?

Rgds.
G.

Topic: RE: LH CFO Defies Unions: "We're Prepared To Fight"
Username: YTZ
Posted 2013-03-31 08:19:37 and read 1837 times.

Some points:

1) LH is not asking employees to take a pay cut or accept working conditions like the ME3.

2) The employees are asking for a pay raise that is substantially above inflation.

3) LH has high costs not just because of its employees. It has an older fleet. It has a diverse fleet. It has several brands to maintain and several hubs. And its hubs have limitations.

4) LH faces rapidly growing threats, from U2 and FR in Europe to the ME3 on long haul and TK within Star Alliance.


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