Lufthansa pilot strike looms

Pilots at Lufthansa will continue a
labour battle over job outsourcing with a four-day strike beginning 13 April
after the union called talks with the company fruitless.

As a result of failed talks with
Lufthansa management, the Cockpit Association (VC) union has announced renewed
strike action in April.

A costly four-day work stoppage in
February was called off after one day when both sides agreed to return to
the negotiating table. 

The Cockpit Association objects to
efforts at Lufthansa to shift work to wholly owned subsidiaries with lower pay
scales, such as Lufthansa Italia, based in Milan, Italy.

The airline’s chief labour
negotiator and head of passenger airlines, Roland Busch, said the airline must
avoid any cost increases as the recession has hit passenger and cargo sales. He
added that the company had offered to guarantee every pilot’s job till
2012. 

“In the interest of all
Lufthansa employees we must make sure that we have competitive structures,”
Busch said. “That is why we need to do everything we can
to avoid cost increases.”

Lufthansa had made an offer that
included a pay freeze this year in exchange for job guarantees.

But the union, which represents
most of the 4,500 pilots employed at the Lufthansa parent company, at Lufthansa
Cargo and at Germanwings, has said it would only accept a pay freeze in return
for further concessions on job security.

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