Lufthansa wants talks with pilots – not another strike

Union votes for industrial action over early retirement row



Lufthansa has asked the German pilots’ union Vereinigung Cockpit back to the discussion table. The airline is trying to halt another costly strike over changes to an early retirement scheme.

The union represents most of the airline’s 5,400 pilots. It said it would return to the table if Lufthansa put forward new proposals. It voted for industrial action on Friday, when talks on the retirement scheme appeared to break down, but did not give any dates.

“We would definitely announce strike actions a day ahead of time,” union board member Markus Wahl told the news agency Reuters.

Lufthansa board member Bettina Volkens: “We are looking for a compromise and can’t understand why the talks have been described as a failure.”

Reuters says that the argument between airline and pilots relates to provisions for an early retirement scheme that dates back 50 years. Lufthansa pilots work until the age of 55, eight years before the legal retirement age in Germany. But European courts have ruled they can work until the age of 65, while Lufthansa wants to scrap costly early retirement.


[pictured: Lufthansa A380 cockpit]


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