Pilots are “elite group that can’t seem to stuff their pockets full enough”
Pilots on strike at Lufthansa are facing strong criticism across Germany for using a damaging walkout to demand higher pay and early retirement, even though they are some of the best-paid employees in the country.
TV commentators, newspaper editorials and political leaders are all blasting the 5,400 pilots who have almost shut down the airline, affecting 425,000 passengers in a three-day strike that lasts until midnight tonight.
The pilots have an average annual pay of €181,000 – nearly four times the average wage in Germany (€45,523). One of their demands is a 10% pay rise over two years.
“This strike is completely irresponsible,” said prominent Christian Democrat politician Michael Fuchs. “It’s like they’re taking half a million passengers hostage. I’ve got very little understanding for people going on strike who earn as much as the chancellor.”
In an editorial the newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung wrote: “There’s a lot of anger across the country about an elite group that can’t seem to stuff their pockets full enough.”
[photo courtesy Lufthansa]