Lufthansa Pilot Strike to Cancel Hundreds of Flights April 2 to 4

Skift Take

The strike will not fall during a popular vacation period later in the month, but should negotiations stall the upcoming holiday represents a ripe opportunity for the labor union to make its voice heard loudly throughout the country.

— Samantha Shankman

Pilots at Lufthansa , Germany’s largest airline, will hold a three-day strike from April 2 to April 4, their union said on Friday, as they seek to pressure the German airline in pay and contract negotiations.

The strike, which will run from midnight on April 2 until 11:59 p.m. (2159 GMT) on April 4, will likely result in the cancellation of hundreds of flights, and will be the third strike to hit Frankfurt, Europe’s third largest hub and Lufthansa’s home base, within six weeks.

The dispute is over pay increases and so-called ‘transition contracts’ awarded to pilots retiring before the legal pension age officially kicks in.

Union Vereinigung Cockpit, which represents around 5,400 Lufthansa pilots, said on Friday it had tried to offer suggestions to resolve the pay row but that the airline had not taken up the offer seriously.

“We won’t let ourselves be given the run-around by Lufthansa,” VC board member Ilona Ritter said in a statement on Friday.

More than 99 percent of the pilots had voted in favor of strike action to resolve the transition contract issue in a ballot.

VC said it would not strike during the Easter school holiday period, which starts on April 14 across most of Germany.

A spokesman for Lufthansa said the airline could not immediately comment.

Lufthansa had cancelled a third of its around 1,800 services on Thursday due to a strike by public sector workers employed in areas such as baggage handling at German airports.

That strike came after industrial action by security staff had caused thousands of passengers to miss their flights at the end of February.

Reporting by Victoria Bryan. Editing by Erica Billingham.

Copyright (2014) Thomson Reuters. Click for restrictions.

Tags: germany, labor, pilots

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