Lufthansa pilot union threatens new strike on April 13


Pilots at Europe’s biggest airline, Lufthansa, will stage a new four-day strike from 13 April, following the breakdown of talks with management.

Pilot union, Vereinigung Cockpit, says it cannot accept a proposed pay freeze unless bosses stick to what it says was an “agreed deal” on job security.

A similar strike in late February was called off after one day after both sides agreed to new negotiations.

That strike was set to cost the airline around $25m a day.

The Cockpit union said Lufthansa was offering a 21-month pay freeze combined with worsening conditions.

It said in a statement: “We can only agree to a pay freeze or even reducing salaries if Lufthansa sticks to an already-agreed deal on safeguarding jobs.”

It means Lufthansa pilots will join colleagues at the carrier’s Germanwings affiliate and Lufthansa Cargo in striking to press for more job security.

‘Compatible’ offer

The pilots say they will wait until after the Easter holiday to minimise disruption to passengers.

The German airline said in a statement that its latest offer was “compatible with the company’s situation and economic conditions”.

Like other carriers, Lufthansa is trying to push through cost-cutting plans in the face of the global financial crisis, soaring fuel costs and competition from low-cost rivals.

The new problems at Lufthansa come as cabin crew at rival British Airways continue their strike over pay and conditions, now in its third day.