29-Aug-2012 1:16 PM

Lufthansa talks with UFO union collapses, indefinite strike action to follow

Unabhaengige Flugbegleiter Organisation (UFO union), representing Lufthansa's 18,000 flight attendants, stated (28-Aug-2012) talks with the carrier collapsed on 28-Aug-2012. UFO had earlier said it would call indefinite strike action if it failed to come to an agreement with the carrier on pay to end a 13-month dispute with the carrier, which is seeking to reduce its global workforce by around 3% (equating to around 3500 job cuts). In a strike ballot earlier this month, 97.5% of Lufthansa cabin staff voted in favour of walk-outs. The strike action will effect the airline at all German airports, although UFO chairman Nicoley Baublies did not provide exact details on where and when the walkouts would occur for "tactical reasons", saying only that Lufthansa would face an "open-ended strike." UFO was seeking a 5% increase pay increase (backdated to the start of 2012) and assurances that the carrier would end its practice of employing lower-paid temporary workers. Lufthansa CEO Peter Gerber said major strike action would cost the carriers millions of euros in damages per day, according to Deutsche Welle and dpa-AFX reports. Except for minor warning strikes in 2009, the Lufthansa flight attendants have never conducted strike action against the carrier. [more - original PR - German]

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