Pilots to go on strike at Germany's Lufthansa on Wednesday
By Peter Maushagen and Maria Sheahan
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Pilots at German airline Lufthansa (LHAG.DE: Quote) will go on strike on Wednesday in a long-running pay dispute, their labor union said on Monday, raising the prospects of hundreds of flight cancellations.
The strike, the 14th in the row between union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) and Lufthansa, will run for 24 hours from midnight and affect short-haul and long-haul Lufthansa flights departing from German airports, VC said in a statement.
Budget airlines Germanwings and Eurowings and other Lufthansa carriers, such as Austrian Airlines, SWISS and Brussels Airlines, are not affected, Lufthansa said.
Pay talks between Lufthansa and VC broke down this month. The two sides are trying to agree contracts dating back to 2012 and the union is calling for an average 3.7 percent a year pay increase for 5,400 pilots over a five-year period.
Lufthansa, which is trying to cut costs to cope with increased competition from low-cost carriers and leaner Gulf rivals, has offered 2.5 percent increases, which the pilots' union has said equates to a virtual pay freeze.
A Lufthansa spokesman said the company had taken note of VC's strike announcement and regretted any inconvenience that it may cause for passengers.
"This call for strike is not the right way," Lufthansa said.
The Verdi union separately called for a strike by cabin crew at Lufthansa's Eurowings at Duesseldorf and Hamburg airports to push for better pay for about 460 flight attendants. Its last strike in September had led to the cancellation of 16 out of 184 scheduled Eurowings flights. Continued...