Lufthansa avoids strike in stop-gap deal with union

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The German airline has agreed to a one-time payment and longer stop overs in long-haul destinations. The two parties said strikes will be called off pending further talks.   

German cabin crew trade union Ufo and Lufthansa announced on Friday that strikes would be avoided for the time being, after agreeing on dates for further talks. Cabin crew workers are seeking better pay and working conditions.

A Lufthansa spokeswoman said that the union had agreed that there would be no strikes on any of the group’s airlines, which includes Eurowings and Austrian Airlines, until at least the end of the next round of negotiations.

In a joint statement, both parties said that there was an agreement to give some 22,000 cabin crew personnel a one-off payment of an extra €1,500 ($1,660) in their next paycheck. The firm is also already putting in place one of the union’s demands, longer stop overs in long-haul destinations like Japan and South Korea.

Strikes in quick succession

In November and December, Lufthansa and Eurowings were forced to cancel hundreds of flights and strand thousands of passengers during three short strikesorganized by Ufo.

The union is not only seeking raises for employees, but other benefits like more security for temporary workers, who are often placed into longer, more difficult routes without the help of a long-term contract.

Both cabin crew and pilots for many airlines have complained in recent years that the competition from budget airlines has led to increasingly long hours under more stressful conditions and without adequate compensation.

es/rt (dpa, Reuters)

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