Lufthansa’s unionized ground staff back cost-cutting deal, document shows

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Lufthansa planes are seen parked on the tarmac of Frankfurt Airport

BERLIN (Reuters) – A deal to cut costs and save jobs at Lufthansa has won the support of a majority of the Verdi trade union members who work for the German airline as ground staff, according to the results of a ballot seen by Reuters on Friday.

Lufthansa workers represented by Verdi, a service workers union, backed the deal struck a month ago to cut costs by 200 million euros ($243 million) in return for a promise of no forced redundancies in 2021, according to the document.

Verdi represents 24,000 Lufthansa ground staff, who agreed as part of the deal to forgo Christmas and vacation bonuses through 2021.

A formal announcement is expected on Monday.

The deal with Verdi followed months of on-off talks, during which the union accused management of seeking to cut jobs even after taking a 9-billion-euro government bailout to keep its planes flying.

The airline and its subsidiaries, Eurowings, Swiss, Austrian and Brussels Airlines, have slashed their schedules, fleet and staff, with air travel not expected to recover to pre-pandemic levels before 2025. It aims to cut 22,000 full-time jobs.

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