Lufthansa Faces Fresh Strikes As Wage Talks Fail

February 17, 2009

Lufthansa may face a full strike by its cabin crew members after trade union UFO said on Tuesday the latest round of wage talks with the German flagship carrier had failed.

"We will decide on (whether to call for) further strikes today," a spokesman for the union said, adding UFO may ballot for industrial action.

This was the fourth round of talks in which Lufthansa has been offering a wage increase of up to 10 percent. The package includes better work conditions and profit sharing.

Pushing for a better offer, cabin crews represented by UFO have staged protests twice in the past weeks, forcing the carrier to cancel dozens of flights and cope with delays.

Last July, Lufthansa's passenger numbers were hurt by strikes by ground staff and cabin crew as well as walkouts by regional pilots that forced the carrier to cut flights.

The wage agreement that ended that walkout added about EUR100 million euros (USD$126.5 million) a year to costs, the company has said.

Lufthansa earlier this month raised its full-year 2008 outlook, saying its fourth quarter had yielded stronger results than expected, aided by lower fuel costs.

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