BERLIN (Reuters) – A German union plans a cabin crew walkout in July at Lufthansa’s budget Eurowings unit over a pay dispute, it said on Thursday, adding pressure on the airline while it struggles with rising fuel costs and low revenues.
The UFO union, which represents cabin crew, threatened a prolonged walkout if Lufthansa did not accept its demands that include higher wages for staff.
At a news conference, a UFO board member said its members would vote on the walkout plans at Eurowings, which also includes the Germanwings airline.
The threat comes after Lufthansa issued a profit warning on Sunday, with lower prices and higher fuel costs compounding the effect of losses at Eurowings. The news sent its shares plummeting.
Lufthansa’s stock, which has lost more than half its value over the last 18 months, slightly dipped again on UFO’s announcement and traded 0.4% lower at 1034 GMT, underperforming Germany’s blue chip index, which was up 0.94%.
Eurowings said it was bound by Lufthansa’s decision to halt all talks with the union and did not comment on wage demands.
Lufthansa ended talks with UFO last week, saying that ongoing legal issues within the union meant Lufthansa had no official counterpart at the union – a statement UFO contests.
A Lufthansa spokeswoman said no strikes could take place among employees at its core brand as no wage agreements had expired and UFO had not formulated specific demands.
UFO said it was still working on the demands it plans to put to Lufthansa’s core brand.
(Reporting by Klaus Lauer and Ilona Wissenbach; Writing by Tassilo Hummel; Editing by Deepa Babington)