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Unsustainability at Lufthansa

Hotel Employees & Restaurant Employees International Union (HERE)
November 14th, 2002

We are writing to inform you about Lufthansa's mistreatment of its low-wage employees in the United States, where Lufthansa employs approximately 14,000 workers in its airline catering and foods processing divisions. Workplace abuses ranging from alleged sexual assault by managers, to employees working at home without pay, to management denying the rights of its employees to unionize are reported on a Web site, www.lufthansa-unbalanced.org

This report presents a conflict with the image Lufthansa promotes as a corporation deeply committed to its 90,000 employees worldwide and to "principles of sustainability." We believe that this behavior is also incompatible with Lufthansa's inclusion in prominent Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) indexes, on which Lufthansa prides itself.

In the days leading up to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, Lufthansa reached out to you specifically. Lufthansa Corporate Communications released the following announcement: "Lufthansa is committed to principles of sustainability; New Internet pages on sustainability go live as Johannesburg summit opens."

We believe that Lufthansa should not be able to benefit from marketing itself as a corporate do-gooder without being held accountable for its simultaneous corporate misconduct. If you agree, please take a moment to tell the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes and the FTSE4Good Indexes that the emerging pattern of Lufthansa's poor treatment of its U.S. employees is incompatible with the principles embraced by their Socially Responsible Investment indexes. Rather than being rewarded for its behavior, Lufthansa must be held accountable.

FTSE4Good Advisory Committee
Managing Director, SAM Indexes Alexander Barkawi


Lufthansa is included in prominent Socially Responsible Investment indexes and markets itself as a company deeply committed to its worldwide employees and "the principles of sustainability." Reports of alleged sexual harassment and assault by managers, employees working at home without pay, employees working full shifts without meals, breaks, or trips to the bathroom, numerous workplace safety violations, anti-union campaigns, and a protracted contract dispute suggest that Lufthansa does not meet the principles embraced by these Socially Responsible Investment indexes.

Rather than being rewarded for its behavior, Lufthansa must be held accountable. Tell the Socially Responsible Investment indexes and their research partners that their integrity is at stake -- if they are to be taken seriously, Lufthansa must be excluded.

Visit the HERE website to take action on this issue.