Pilots union open to talks with Lufthansa in pay dispute | Reuters
FRANKFURT German pilots union VC said on Sunday it was open to further talks with Lufthansa (LHAG.DE) to try to find a compromise over a long-running pay dispute that caused a four-day strike last week, adding the airline needed to present a new offer.'It will become clear in the course of the day how the dispute will continue,' a spokesman for VC told Reuters.Lufthansa said earlier that all flights would start on schedule on Monday, Nov.
FRANKFURT German pilots union VC said on Sunday it was open to further talks with Lufthansa (LHAG.DE) to try to find a compromise over a long-running pay dispute that caused a four-day strike last week, adding the airline needed to present a new offer."It will become clear in the course of the day how the dispute will continue," a spokesman for VC told Reuters.Lufthansa said earlier that all flights would start on schedule on Monday, Nov. 28, as there had been no further strike call from VC so far.Lufthansa cancelled nearly 2,800 flights during a four-day strike from Wednesday that affected more than 350,000 passengers, the 14th walkout in a dispute since early 2014 that has cost the carrier hundreds of millions of euros.Germany's biggest airline earlier urged VC to resume talks."We have to talk," Bettina Volkens, Lufthansa's board member in charge of human resources, told Bild am Sonntag. "I hope very much that (VC) finally changes its uncompromising stance."
"This cannot be forced via strikes."VC rejected the latest pay offer from Lufthansa late on Friday but lifted the threat of extending its strike beyond Saturday.
It said on Saturday more strikes were possible, and would be announced at least 24 hours in advance.Lufthansa has offered to increase wages by 4.4 percent in two instalments, plus a one-off payment worth 1.8 months' pay. The union wants an average annual pay rise of 3.7 percent for 5,400 pilots over a five-year period backdated to 2012.Pilot strikes cost Lufthansa 222 million euros ($235 million) in 2014, according to the IW Cologne Institute for Economic Research, while in 2015, walkouts by pilots and cabin crew cost the airline 231 million euros.
Lufthansa said it had taken another 20 million euro hit over the first two days of the latest strike. ($1 = 0.9443 euros) (Reporting by Christoph Steitz and Peter Maushagen; Editing by David Clarke and Mark Potter)
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