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Lufthansa pilots - "We have to strike"


Lufthansa pilots - "We have to strike"


Lufthansa’s pilots started their four day walkout on Monday saying they felt they had no alternative but to strike.

They have accused Lufthansa of moving to undermine their job security and high level of income.

With two thirds of its planes sitting idle on the tarmac the airline went to court trying to force the pilots back to work.

Lufthansa spokesman Klaus Walther said: “Our legal counsel has suggested that the legal route we are taking could be successful and that is why we are seeking a court injunction at the Labour Court in Frankfurt because we believe that the strike is excessive.”

The four day stoppage is expected to ground 3,200 flights and cost Lufthansa around 100 million euros in lost revenue.

The pilots have been demanding a 6.4 percent pay rise but said they would be flexible on that if they got the job security they want.

They have accused the airline of refusing to seriously negotiate.

Jörg Handwerg, spokesman for the pilots’ union Cockpit said: “We are on strike, because several collective labour agreements with Deutsche Lufthansa ended more than one year ago and we have been in negotiation with Lufthansa since. But up to now Lufthansa has not made a substantive offer.”

The pilots fear a reduction in the number of Lufthansa flights, with routes being transferred to its subsidiaries such as Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa Italia, and Brussels Airlines and regional carrier eurowings where wages are lower.

The union want cockpit crews at those subsidiaries to have the same kind of contracts as the Lufthansa pilots enjoy.

Lufthansa management has said it cannot afford that and has no plans to move jobs anyway.

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