- Title: Lufthansa pilots ready to strike after pay talks collapse
- Date: 14th November 2016
- Summary: FRANKFURT, GERMANY (NOVEMBER 14, 2016) (REUTERS) MEMBERS OF PILOT'S UNION, 'VEREINIGUNG COCKPIT’ ARRIVING FOR NEWS CONFERENCE PHOTOGRAPHERS MEMBERS OF PILOT'S UNION, 'VEREINIGUNG COCKPIT’ SITTING FOR NEWS CONFERENCE JOURNALISTS TAKING NOTES (SOUNDBITE) (German) PRESIDENT OF PILOT'S UNION, 'VEREINIGUNG COCKPIT’, ILJA SCHULZ, SAYING: "Asking us to take a cut in actual earnings at a time when the company is registering profit is unacceptable for us. That means that on this basis we see no foundation for further negotiations, including on the arbitration Lufthansa has just put on the table. Therefore Vereinigung Cockpit has broken off the wage negotiations with Lufthansa and Lufthansa Cargo and declared them failed. As of now strikes can be expected at any time. We will give timely notice of individual strike action." VARIOUS OF SCHULZ TALKING MEDIA (SOUNDBITE) (German) PRESIDENT OF PILOT'S UNION, 'VEREINIGUNG COCKPIT, ILJA SCHULZ, SAYING: "Of course I am aware that this creates difficulties for passengers and for our colleagues in the cabin and ground crew and I would like to express my regret at this point that it has come to this." LUFTHANSA SIGN AT FRANKFURT AIRPORT LUFTHANSA SPOKESMAN, ANDREAS BARTELS SPEAKING TO PRESS (SOUNDBITE) (German) LUFTHANSA SPOKESMAN, ANDREAS BARTELS, SAYING: "It is of course not a nice announcement and not a good day that the VC (Vereinigung Cockpit) is again threatening to strike. We negotiated, we negotiated for an overall solution, at the wish of the union we negotiated on individual contracts, we offered an arbitration. All of this apparently had no effect so this is not a good day." MEDIA BARTELS TALKING TO MEDIA (SOUNDBITE) (German) LUFTHANSA SPOKESMAN, ANDREAS BARTELS, SAYING: "We offered a 2,5 percent increase in salary and one shouldn't forget that we are anyway planning a 3 percent annual increase in the pay system and the Lufthansa pilots are still the best paid people in the industry so it is incomprehensible that more strikes are being threatened on this basis."
- Embargoed: 29th November 2016 16:07
- Keywords: Cockpit pilot's union strike Lufthansa
- Location: FRANKFURT & MUNICH, GERMANY
- City: FRANKFURT & MUNICH, GERMANY
- Country: Germany
- Topics: Economic Events
- Reuters ID: LVA00158F3IQ5
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Lufthansa pilots are threatening to strike after talks on pay between their union and the management of Germany's largest airline collapsed.
The union, Vereinigung Cockpit, which represents around 5,400 pilots at the company, said on Monday (November 14) strike action at the main Lufthansa airline brand and its cargo arm was possible at any time, although it would give 24 hours' notice of a walkout.
Talks on new contracts for 5,400 pilots at the Lufthansa, Lufthansa Cargo and Germanwings divisions have been going on for four years and have resulted in more than a dozen strikes at one of Europe's largest airlines.
Lufthansa is trying to cut costs to cope with increased competition from low-cost carriers and leaner Gulf rivals. It has managed to agree wide-ranging deals on pay and conditions with its main cabin crew and ground staff unions in Germany.
The pilots' union said failure to agree a deal meant that its members had not had a pay increase for more than five years and that Lufthansa was offering only a pay freeze.
It is calling for an average annual pay increase of 3.66 percent, pointing to Lufthansa's profits of more than 5 billion euros ($5.4 billion) in that period.
Lufthansa, which had earlier on Monday offered mediation to resolve the impasse, said in response that the strike call was "incomprehensible".
Formal talks with pilots on a package covering a range of topics from pay, pensions and working conditions broke down earlier this year and the two sides instead agreed to discuss topics individually.
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