German carrier Lufthansa avoids another strike as pilots reach pay deal

The union representing Lufthansa pilots is calling off a planned two-day strike after a last-minute settlement with Germany’s biggest airline in a pay dispute.

With inflation soaring, collective wage negotiations are expected to be tense in the coming months across Europe. (Andre Pain / AFP)

Pilots at German airline Lufthansa have called off a planned strike later this week following a last-minute settlement in pay talks with the carrier, their union Cockpit said.

The pilots of the passenger and cargo planes were due to start their strike from Wednesday, but “an agreement has been reached”, a Cockpit spokesman said on Tuesday, adding that the walkout “would therefore be cancelled”.

Just hours ago pilots said they would depart from Wednesday to Thursday, while the industrial action for those operating cargo flights would last one more day until Friday.

Faced with the threat of further chaos, Lufthansa management immediately said it would present a “better offer” to the union in urgent talks later today.

The airline was forced to cancel nearly all of its flights on Friday due to a one-day pilot strike, affecting 130,000 passengers.

No details have yet been provided on the pay deal and Lufthansa declined to comment.

READ MORE: Over a thousand flights canceled as Lufthansa staff go on strike

Union demands

The pilots’ union is calling for a 5.5% wage increase by the end of the year, automatic compensation for inflation and adjustments to its salary grid.

Lufthansa said the entire package sought by Cockpit would increase pilot personnel costs by 40% or $900 million.

With inflation soaring, collective wage negotiations are expected to be tense in the coming months across Europe.

The IG Metall union called for a demonstration on Saturday to launch collective wage bargaining for the metal and electrical industry.

Its “Mitte” chapter, which represents workers in the regions of Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland and Thuringia, said it would demand 8% more wages for 12 months for the 400,000 workers it represents.

German consumer prices rose 7.9% on the year to August, according to data released last week by the federal statistics agency Destatis.

READ MORE: Hundreds of flights canceled in Germany as Lufthansa pilots go on strike

Source: TRTWorld and agencies

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