There is probably no other employee representative that Lufthansa has argued with as much as with Nicoley Baublies. Now he is leaving the flight attendant union UFO and wants to advise others in conflicts.

Nicoley Baublies

ÜFor years he was the face of the flight attendant union UFO – especially in wage disputes with Deutsche Lufthansa. Now Nicoley Baublies, chairman and most recently managing director of the union until 2019, is withdrawing and starting his own business – as a trainer and consultant for conflicts.

As Baublies confirmed on Friday, the handover of his operational management tasks to the current board of directors has been completed. This step was originally planned earlier, but the corona pandemic and the crisis tariff talks with Lufthansa have delayed it. First the “Spiegel” reported on the withdrawal.

The move comes after twelve years of work in committees and negotiation rounds. Even now, Baublies is unlikely to withdraw entirely from aviation. At least until the new election, he still belongs to the UFO tariff commission. And for his new job as a conflict trainer, it is not unlikely that he will build on contacts in the industry. In the group and also in the union, Baublies was a polarized person. Some accuse him of looking for quarrels and conflicts. The others emphasize that they have achieved a lot in negotiations for the flight attendants represented by UFO.

Still open questions with Lufthansa

Until last year, Baublies himself belonged to the UFO board and was its chairman. He led the union in the largest strike ever by Lufthansa flight attendants. In addition, there were skirmishes with the company, which has since resigned, and internal disputes in the union, which led to a new start in the UFO board. People who were on Baublies’ side prevailed. He worked with them as a consultant and managing director and, even without being a board member, played a key role in the settlement of the longstanding conflict with the group and in crisis collective bargaining. In the corona pandemic, after many feuds in the past, UFO was the first union to conclude a crisis pact with Lufthansa.

Even if the Lufthansa headquarters secretly wanted to withdraw, it now comes as a surprise. Because a website announcing his new job as a conflict trainer has been around for a long time. After Lufthansa encountered it, it also played a role in its dispute with the group. With a termination by the cabin chief (purser), Lufthansa failed in court. Baublies will not return to the flight service, but unresolved claims for wage payments, legal fees and compensation will probably provide points of contact with Lufthansa.