Lufthansa cabin staff plan week of walkouts: union
Lufthansa cabin staff are threatening to stage a week of walkouts starting from Friday if management does not come up with an improved offer in an ongoing labour dispute, the union UFO said on Monday.
UFO chief Nicoley Baublies said the union had given management until Thursday afternoon to present an improved offer in a dispute over pay and early retirement provisions, otherwise staff would stage walkouts for a week starting from Friday.
"We will announce at short notice which flights will not be affected by the strike," Baublies told a telephone news conference.
If the stoppages go ahead, it would be the first time that cabin staff have staged walkouts in the nearly two-year long dispute.
UFO is demanding that no changes be made to the current system of early retirement provisions.
Baublies said the union had tried to reach agreement with management using peaceful means for the past two years.
"But this path is now dead," he complained.
Lufthansa said it regretted UFO's position.
"Lufthansa currently offers cabin staff the best provisions in the entire sector," said a company spokeswoman, insisting that management was ready "at any time" to resume negotiations.
UFO had announced at the weekend that the talks had failed.
The dispute with cabin staff is separate from a long-running battle between management and pilots over company plans to change the pilots' early retirement arrangements.
Lufthansa wants to scrap an arrangement under which pilots can retire at 55 and receive up to 60 percent of their pay until they reach the statutory retirement age of 65.
Pilots, who are concerned about Lufthansa's aim to further develop its low-cost activities as it faces growing competition, have staged repeated walkouts during the dispute.
Last week, Lufthansa said it was raising its full-year forecasts after low oil prices and positive passenger numbers lifted profits in the third quarter.
© 2015 AFP