September 5, 2012 / 2:22 PM / 6 years ago

Lufthansa says open to mediation in cabin crew row

An employee of German air carrier Lufthansa is seen through a window at a rebooking counter at the Fraport airport in Frankfurt, September 4, 2012. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany’s Lufthansa said it was open to mediation in a row with cabin crew over pay and conditions after being threatened with a costly Germany-wide strike on Friday, although doubts whether it will succeed, an executive said on Wednesday.

A second day of rolling strikes by the UFO union, which represents around two-thirds of Lufthansa’s 18,000 flight attendants, on Tuesday resulted in the cancellation of over 350 flights and left 43,000 passengers stranded.

The union, which is demanding a 5 percent pay increase and guarantees that jobs will not be outsourced to temporary workers, on Tuesday threatened to hold a 24-hour strike across Germany on Friday if Lufthansa did not agree to mediation.

Lufthansa Passenger Airlines executive Peter Gerber told journalists on Wednesday he saw mediation as a “less than ideal solution”, as it would take a third-party mediator too long to understand the complexities of Lufthansa’s pay structure.

He said that Lufthansa would only agree to mediation if restricted to matters of pay and not including other issues like the use of temporary workers.

In Germany, when two sides agree to a mediation, neither must take strike action for the duration of the process.

Reporting by Victoria Bryan

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