NEWS FLASH ~
Lufthansa AG’s main pilots union has called on its members to not report to work this week, as the labor dispute between pilots and Germany’s largest airline enters its second week.
The union, Vereinigung Cockpit, is reportedly asking pilots of short-haul flights to walkout Tuesday. It is asking pilots of its long-haul flights to walkout Wednesday. Lufthansa was forced to cancel thousands of flights last week after pilots initiated the strike Wednesday.
The two sides are locked in a bitter dispute over employment terms. The union is demanding a 3.7 percent pay increase, backdated to 2012, when the previous wage agreement expired. The total pay increase would be close to 20 percent.
Lufthansa, in an effort to remain competitive against low-cost alternatives, asserts it can’t meet the union’s demands. “We stand no chance to survive” if the company gives in to the union’s request of a 20 percent raise, Carsten Spohr, the airline’s CEO, said Thursday.
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The pilots’ union at German airline Lufthansa says it is calling additional strikes for Tuesday and Wednesday, following a two-day break in its campaign of walkouts.
The Cockpit union said Sunday that its members scheduled to fly short-haul flights would strike on Tuesday. The union plans to add long-haul routes to the walkout on Wednesday.
Cockpit staged four days of strikes last week in a pay dispute that’s festered for over two years. The union says a hastily convened meeting with Lufthansa on Sunday failed to produce a resolution.
Cockpit is seeking retroactive raises of 3.66 percent a year going back 5½ years.
Lufthansa offered Friday to increase pilot pay by 4.4 percent by mid-2018, and make a one-time payment equal to 1.8 monthly salaries in lieu of past raises.
EARLIER REPORTS ***************************************
Pilots at Lufthansa are staging a fourth consecutive day of strikes against the German airline Saturday, with chances of an immediate resolution to the pay dispute looking slim after their union rejected a new offer from the company.
The Cockpit union targeted Lufthansa’s long-haul services, prompting 137 flight cancellations and affecting some 30,000 passengers. That was fewer than on previous days, when Cockpit members also hit short-haul flights.
Cockpit said that there will be no walkout Sunday and it will give at least 24 hours’ notice of any further strikes next week.
Lufthansa said it expects flights to operate largely as scheduled on Sunday. However, it cautioned that there will still be a few cancellations as a result of the previous days’ disruption and urged passengers to check the status of their flights online.
Cockpit is seeking retroactive raises of 3.66 percent a year going back 5½ years. Lufthansa, which faces increasing competition from Gulf airlines and European budget carriers, says it can’t satisfy that demand.
On Friday, Lufthansa offered to increase pay by 4.4 percent by mid-2018, and make a one-time payment equal to 1.8 monthly salaries in lieu of past raises.
It also offered to hire about 1,000 new pilots in the coming five years and seek third-party mediation on other outstanding issues.
Cockpit, however, argued that the proposal simply reiterated one made over two months ago.