Skift Take

The cabin crew has the upper hand on this one. It's hard to imagine that the costs of cancelled flights, disapointed passengers, and thousands of unhappy employees will end up costing Lufthansa less than the minor salary bumps the union wants.

Lufthansa’s cabin crew union UFO threatened further strikes if mediation talks scheduled for next week fail to yield a result, German weekly magazine Focus said on Saturday.

Lufthansa and union representatives on Friday agreed to begin a formal mediation procedure set for next Wednesday, after the airline offered permanent contracts to some temporary cabin crew.

If talks are abandoned, the cabin crew staff can go on strike “every four days, or fortnight or every three weeks,” union head Nicoley Baublies told Focus, according to an advance excerpt of its Monday edition.

The union has 20 years worth of membership fees to fall back on to fund industrial action, Baublies told the magazine.

Previous talks broke down and strikes forced Lufthansa to cancel over 1,000 flights, after 13 months of negotiations over pay and working conditions.

Lufthansa has been resisting the union’s demand for 5 percent pay increases and guarantees against outsourcing as it tries to slash costs in a plan to improve annual earnings by 1.5 billion euros ($1.9 billion) by 2014.

Editing by Janet Lawrence.

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Tags: labor, lufthansa

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