Lufthansa pilots' union rejects latest offer, suspends strikes

Fri Nov 25, 2016 4:43pm EST
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By Peter Maushagen and Caroline Copley

BERLIN (Reuters) - Lufthansa's LHAG.DE pilots' union rejected the German airline's latest pay offer on Friday, but lifted the immediate threat of extending their strike beyond Saturday.

Lufthansa said earlier it had made a new offer to try to break the deadlock in a long-running pay dispute with its pilots who have been on strike since Wednesday.

This week's walkout -- the 14th since early 2014 -- has already grounded some 2,600 planes and affected more than 315,000 passengers. Lufthansa has said the disruption has started to hit medium-term bookings.

Pilots had been threatening to extend the strike beyond Saturday, raising concerns among investors at the growing cost to the company and the wider impact on Europe's largest economy.

But the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots' union said late on Friday it now had no plans for further strikes beyond Saturday.

It did not rule out further action in future however, but said that any strikes would be announced 24 hours in advance.

The union dismissed the airline's latest offer as a "public relations move" and said it was not new.

Lufthansa said earlier it had offered to increase wages by 4.4 percent in two installments, as well as a one-off payment equal to 1.8 months' pay.   Continued...

Planes stand on the tarmac during a pilots strike of German airline Lufthansa at Frankfurt airport, Germany, November 23, 2016. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski