UK/GERMANY - An MP has attacked German airline Lufthansa for failing to protect the interests of longstanding British workers who face massive cuts in their pension entitlements.
Around 200 ground staff face cuts of up to 40% following the collapse of GlobeGround – a firm which was majority-owned by Lufthansa until last year.
The workers were transferred out of the Lufthansa Airlines Retirement Benefits Plan when the German airline’s stake was bought by French firm, Penauille Polyservices.
The cuts in pension entitlements were announced when GlobeGround filed for bankruptcy and its new owner refused to pick up the bill.
Liberal Democrat trade and industry spokesman, Vincent Cable, accused Lufthansa of “walking away” from its pensions obligations when it sold GlobeGround.
He said: “It is absolutely scandalous that employees can give decades of loyal service to a big, blue-chip, international company and find they have been off-loaded to another company, which then promptly defaults on its pensions.”
Cable – who is trying to rally support in Westminster and among MEPs – added: “Incredibly Lufthansa sold out of a company without cast-iron assurances about the pensions of the employees, whom it owed such an obligation.”
OPAS chief executive, Malcolm McLean, said: “This is another example where there might be a moral obligation on a firm to stand by its pensions promises – but that is different to a legal obligation.”
A Lufthansa spokeswoman commented: “When there were discussions about the takeover with the French company, we made sure that the people at GlobeGround would have everything they need.”
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