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Pilots propose talks with Lufthansa over pay

Oct 23 2014 14:45

Frankfurt - German pilots' union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) has proposed restarting talks with Lufthansa over pay and early retirement benefits but does not rule out further strikes during the negotiations.

The dispute has resulted in eight strikes at Lufthansa this year, the latest one lasting for 30 hours earlier this week and affecting thousands of passengers.

READ: Lufthansa pilots begin 35-hour strike

In a sign of movement in the row, the union has now proposed talks led by a mediator, it said in a letter seen by Reuters.

In response, Lufthansa said it was pleased that VC had signalled it wished to enter talks.

Neither side said when talks could start.

"We are pleased we've had contact with Lufthansa," a spokesperson for VC told Reuters. "But the message remains: we are ready to strike."

READ: Lufthansa pilots threaten more strikes

The pilots and Lufthansa are negotiating over a scheme that allows pilots to retire at the age of 55 and still receive a portion of their pay until regular pension payments start in Germany.

Lufthansa wants to gradually increase the age at which pilots who started work with the airline from January 2014 can make use of the early retirement scheme. The pilots want the current scheme maintained for all pilots and not just those starting before 2014.

In addition, they are negotiating over pay increases for the contract period from May 2012, although the pilots say the strikes are mainly about the retirement benefits.

Lufthansa earlier this year put the cost of strikes this year at €70m, but analysts expect an updated figure and possibly new profit guidance for 2014 when it publishes third-quarter results on October 30.

READ THIS NEXT: Lufthansa cancels thousands of flights

lufthansa  |  travel and leisure  |  airlines  |  strikes


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