Lufthansa, cabin crew eye pay accord by November
BERLIN (Reuters) - Lufthansa (LHAG.DE: Quote) and the union representing cabin crew say they are confident they will reach an agreement in a protracted dispute over pay and pensions. Talks have been extended until Nov. 1.
The German carrier has been in lengthy negotiations with various staff groups as it tries to cut costs to compete more effectively with low-cost airlines and Gulf airline rivals.
The cabin crew union, UFO, representing about 19,000 flight attendants, opposes changes to company pension plans and has for more than a year been negotiating with Lufthansa over a new wage contract.
"I'm convinced that we can find constructive solutions," Lufthansa personnel chief Bettina Volkens said in a statement published on Sunday.
"After a lot of back and forth, we all want and need an end to the impasse," UFO head Nicoley Baublies said in a letter to staff also released on Sunday.
Strikes are still not to ruled out. Baublies said extending the talks is not equivalent to a so-called peace period, during which the union is obliged by law to refrain from industrial action.
UFO canceled planned work stoppages in late June after making progress in talks with Lufthansa.
(Reporting by Andreas Cremer, editing by Larry King)
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