Lufthansa passengers face new round of pilot strikes

AFP/DPA/The Local
AFP/DPA/The Local - [email protected] • 14 Nov, 2016 Updated Mon 14 Nov 2016 15:29 CEST
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The pilots' union Cockpit announced on Monday that it will be calling new strikes on Lufthansa flights after talks with Germany's largest air carrier broke down.

 

"Expect industrial action at Lufthansa and Lufthansa Cargo," the group said in a statement, adding that it would give 24 hours' notice of the extent and duration of any strike.

Lufthansa labelled the decision to strike "incomprehensible" via Twitter after the pilots' organisation announced what will be its 14th strike since April 2014.
 
The union called for the industrial action after negotiations stalled on salaries for the 5,400 pilots employed by Lufthansa, Lufthansa Cargo and budget subsidiary Germanwings.

Lufthansa cabin staff last November staged the longest walkout in the company's history with a seven-day stoppage, during which 4,700 flights were scrapped and 550,000 passengers were unable to fly.

Just this summer, the airline at last reached an agreement with cabin crew, ending the two-year labour dispute that impacted hundreds of thousands of passengers.

The airline had attempted to prevent the new round of strikes by calling in arbitration. But Cockpit described the salary proposal offered by the company as “not worthy of arbitration”, according to the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ).

Pilots are seeking a retrospective salary increase over the past five years totaling 20 percent. The pilots have not received a wage increase since 2012 when their last contract expired.

Cockpit complains that in this time Lufthansa has made profits of €5 billion. The demands are “not unreasonable, but equate to what other German salaried workers have received in this time,” the union argues.

The airline intends to prevent the strike through a court injunction.

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