Lufthansa pilots end four-day walkout

23 Mar 2015 by GrahamSmith

Lufthansa pilots have ended their four-day strike protesting an early retirement scheme.

The industrial action affected the German airline's short and long-haul services from Wednesday to Saturday last week.

Yesterday, the carrier said its short and medium-haul operations were back to a normal service, but some of its long-haul flights were still affected.

All Lufthansa services are expected to run as scheduled today.

However, the Vereinigung Cockpit union said the carrier had made no concessions and warned of more strikes over the Easter period in early April.

And today Lufthansa is to begin talks with the trade union Verdi to avert industrial action by up to 30,000 service workers on the ground.

Last week's pilots' strike was the latest in a series of walkouts called by the VC union, which is protesting plans to change the current scheme that sees pilots retire at 55 and retain some of their pay until they reach the state pension age.

Prior to the latest walkout, Lufthansa said it had made concessions in recent talks, including giving the pilots a 5 per cent pay rise.

The frequent strikes by pilots at Lufthansa — and Air France and, earlier this month, Norwegian (see news, March 11) — are the result of the long-established carriers clashing with unions as they try to cut costs to compete with budget airlines.

Earlier this month, Lufthansa said it lost €232 million last year due to ten such strikes.

Graham Smith

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