Lufthansa, pilots reach wage deal, strike called off

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FRANKFURT, Sept 6 (Reuters) – German airline Lufthansa (LHAG.DE) and pilots’ union VC said on Tuesday they had reached a deal in a wage dispute, averting a second strike that had been planned for later this week.

The agreement comes after a strike at Lufthansa last week forced the cancellation of hundreds of flights, further plaguing a summer of travel chaos.

The Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) pilots’ union said it had agreed the basis of a comprehensive package of monetary and structural issues which would be fleshed out in the next few days.

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It gave no further details but said it was sufficient for a strike due to begin on Wednesday to be called off.

“We are pleased that a result was reached at the negotiating table and that further disruption for customers, employees and companies could be avoided,” said Marcel Groels, responsible for the union’s collective bargaining policy.

Planes of German air carrier Lufthansa are photographed at the day of the airline’s annual general meeting at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany, May 4, 2021. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/File Photo

“Today important first steps have been taken towards a long-term cooperation,” he said.

Passenger plane pilots had been due to strike on Wednesday and Thursday, and cargo pilots from Wednesday through Friday, according to the union, which groups more than 5,000 pilots.

Lufthansa, which had earlier said it would make an improved offer on Tuesday, said the agreement meant flights could take place as planned in the next few days.

“We are pleased we were able to reach a solution in constructive talks with the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union,” the national carrier said in a statement, giving no details of the deal.

VC had demanded a retroactive pay rise of 5.5% from July 1 as well as a pay increase of 8.2% in 2023 in response to inflation.

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Reporting by Tom Sims, Ilona Wissenbach; Writing by Miranday Murray and Madeline Chambers Editing by Clarence Fernandez, Louise Heavens and Susan Fenton

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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