Lufthansa cabin staff plan strike action

by Alister POOLE on August 28, 2012

Thousands of Lufthansa passengers might end up with their travel plans disrupted in the wake of talks to prevent cabin crew industrial action breaking down.

The UFO union, which represents 18,000 flight attendants employed by the German flagship carrier, has already stated that it might call a strike with only a few hours’ notice given - meaning that the first walk-out might possibly take place tomorrow morning. Representing the union, a spokesman clarified that strikes will last “five or six hours at a time” while targetting “selected airports”.

The negotiations between UFO and Lufthansa, which aimed to end a pay dispute that has gone on for 13 months, finally broke down on Monday evening. The union, pushing for a pay rise of five per cent for its members after a pay freeze spanning three years, last week warned cabin crew that they should start preparing for strikes so that action can be taken as quickly as possible.

Lufthansa has insisted that its staff have already been offered a package that equates to a 3.5 per cent pay rise. At present, the airline operates 1,850 flights per day and has 14 British airports, including Belfast, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Heathrow, Birmingham, Manchester, Stansted and Gatwick,  on its roster.

Any affected passengers of potential strikes are to be entitled to full refunds, or flight tickets for alternative services, should their flight be cancelled.

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