Pi­lots union says Lufthansa strike to last through Satur­day

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - BUSINESS -

BER­LIN » A union rep­re­sent­ing pi­lots at Ger­man air­line Lufthansa said Thurs­day that its mem­bers plan to ex­tend their labor strike through Satur­day.

The four-day strike, which be­gan Wed­nes­day, comes amid a long-run­ning dis­pute over wages.

Lufthansa has been forced to can­cel hun­dreds of flight a day.

The air­line said it ex­pects some 100,000 passengers booked on short- and medi­umhaul flights to be af­fected by the walk­out Fri­day.

Long-haul flights will be op­er­at­ing, as will flights run by other Lufthansa group air­lines such as Eurow­ings, Swiss and Aus­trian Air­lines, the air­line said.

The Cock­pit union said the work stop­page on Satur­day would af­fect all in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal con­nec­tions from Ger­many.

Main­tain­ing that the air­line, Ger­many’s largest, has been post­ing sig­nif­i­cant prof­its for years, the union has de­manded retroac­tive raises of 3.66 per­cent a year go­ing back 5½ years.

Lufthansa has coun­tered with a sig­nif­i­cantly lower of­fer, and has of­fered to bring in an ar­bi­tra­tor.

The lat­est strike by Cock­pit is the 14th since April 2014 in the long-run­ning dis­pute. It comes as Lufthansa re­struc­tures to meet in­creas­ing com­pe­ti­tion from Gulf air­lines and Euro­pean bud­get car­ri­ers.

“With a de­mand of 20 per­cent wage in­creases we can­not make Lufthansa fit for the future,” said Lufthansa ex­ec­u­tive Harry Hohmeis­ter.

With the Fri­day can­cel­la­tions, Lufthansa said over­all it has had to can­cel 2,618 flights this week, af­fect­ing 315,000 passengers.

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