- Title: German pilots' union and Lufthansa blame each other for two-day strike
- Date: 23rd November 2016
- Summary: FRANKFURT, GERMANY (NOVEMBER 23, 2016) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF DEPARTURES HALL WITH BOARD SHOWING CANCELLED FLIGHTS JOERG HANDWERG, BOARD MEMBER OF VEREINIGUNG COCKPIT (VC) PILOTS' UNION, BEING INTERVIEWED LUFTHANSA LOGO CAMERAMAN (SOUNDBITE) (German) BOARD MEMBER VEREINIGUNG COCKPIT (VC) PILOTS' UNION, JOERG HANDWERG, SAYING: "We're fighting Lufthansa over the payment for pilots. We have not received a pay increase for more than five years and we called on Lufthansa to make us an offer. So far, we only have a sham offer on the table. For everything they offer we are supposed to cut something elsewhere in the labour agreement. We are not happy with that and we demand a negotiable offer. That's why there is this strike." (SOUNDBITE) (German) LUFTHANSA SPOKESMAN, MARTIN LEUTKE, SAYING: "Out of the roughly 3,000 flights Lufthansa had planned for today, around 880 flights have been cancelled. Almost 100,000 passengers are affected and each one of them is a sad case: families can't see each other, colleagues can't see each other, a long planned holiday might not take place. We are very sorry but one must realise that Vereinigung Cockpit is more interested in escalating the conflict than solving it." (SOUNDBITE) (German) BOARD MEMBER VEREINIGUNG COCKPIT (VC) PILOTS' UNION, JOERG HANDWERG, SAYING: "Let me make it very clear that going on strike gives us no pleasure. We are sorry for the passengers and we cannot understand why Lufthansa is unable to make a negotiable offer and make passengers suffer. We are ready at any time to return to the negotiating table. We can of course call off the strikes at any time but Lufthansa must show a willingness to budge." (SOUNDBITE) (German) LUFTHANSA SPOKESMAN, MARTIN LEUTKE, SAYING: "We have made a lot of offers to Vereinigung Cockpit over the last weeks and months. We offered an overall solution which was turned down. We then negotiated about a labour agreement and that pay increase too was turned down. We then said our positions are too far apart and that we would go into arbitration. That too was turned down. So Lufthansa has made plenty of offers. Vereinigung Cockpit is determined on a 20 percent pay increase and instead of going into arbitration, they prefer to go on strike. We have absolutely no understanding for that." PASSENGERS STANDING AT ELECTRONIC TICKET COUNTERS WIDE OF LUFTHANSA COUNTER LUFTHANSA TROLLEY OFFERING PASSENGERS FREE SNACKS AND DRINKS WIDE OF DEPARTURES HALL
- Embargoed: 8th December 2016 08:12
- Keywords: Germany Lufthansa strike pilots Frankfurt airport
- Location: FRANKFURT, GERMANY
- City: FRANKFURT, GERMANY
- Country: Germany
- Topics: Company News Markets,Economic Events
- Reuters ID: LVA00159NYIBR
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Germany's pilots' union and national carrier Lufthansa on Wednesday (November 23) blamed each other for a two-day strike which has grounded almost 100,000 passengers after the cancellation of 880 flights.
Joerg Handwerg, a board member of the Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) union, called Lufthansa's offer a "sham," saying "we have not received a pay increase for more than five years."
Lufthansa spokesman Martin Leutke accused the pilots' union of being "more interested in escalating the conflict than solving it."
"We have made a lot of offers to Vereinigung Cockpit over the last weeks and months," said Leutke.
"Vereinigung Cockpit is determined on a 20 percent pay increase and instead of going into arbitration, they prefer to go on strike. We have absolutely no understanding for that."
The union said it planned another 24-hour walkout at Lufthansa on Thursday (November 23), after strikes announced for Wednesday led to the cancellation of roughly a third of all flights of the German airline.
The union in a statement said all of Lufthansa's short and long-haul flights out of Germany will be affected by the continued industrial action, planned to run until 2259 GMT on Thursday.
The strike is the 14th to hit the airline in its long-running pay dispute with the Vereinigung Cockpit union.
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