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Global Economy

Lufthansa pilots are preparing to go on strike

The Lufthansa pilots voted in a ballot for a strike – but it has not yet been decided that there will also be a labor dispute. 97.6 percent of the Lufthansa pilots and 99.3 percent of the pilots in the cargo division had spoken out in favor of a strike, said the union Cockpit (VC).

A necessary application to the union board has not yet been made. "Good offers" are initially expected from Lufthansa, said VC collective bargaining board member Marcel Gröls, and the result of the vote is a clear signal. The airline's ground staff ended their strike just a few days ago.

More wages and inflation compensation demanded

In the collective bargaining, VC is demanding 5.5 percent more wages, automatic inflation compensation and a uniform tariff structure in the company, which currently employs around 5,000 pilots. By the end of the year, around 400 are to leave the company as part of a severance program because of the Corona crisis.

Lufthansa said it respected the outcome of the vote. "We continue to rely on constructive discussions in order to find a common solution with the VC". New talks have already been agreed.

The group wants to limit its personnel costs. Pilots of the core brand can sometimes earn more than 200,000 euros a year with the appropriate years of service, in other divisions it is less. VC accuses Lufthansa of circumventing collective agreements with these constructions.

(Editor's note: In an earlier version of this article, there was wording that could be taken to mean that all core brand pilots earned more than 200,000 euros. We have clarified this.)

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