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Lufthansa, pilots await proposal from mediator in pay talks

[FRANKFURT] Pay talks between Lufthansa management and its pilots' union have ended without the two sides reaching a deal, and the next step is for the mediator to propose a solution to the long-running row, the Vereinigung Cockpit union (VC) said on Tuesday.

The two sides held two weeks of talks, led by mediator Gunter Pleuger, in a bid to resolve a long-running row over pay contracts dating back to 2012 for around 5,400 Lufthansa pilots.

"Despite intensive discussions, an agreement could not be reached," VC said in a statement, adding Mr Pleuger would make a recommendation by Feb 10.

The two sides will then discuss how to respond to the recommendation.

Lufthansa's pilots have walked out 15 times since early 2014 over dispute with management on topics including pay and early retirement, costing the carrier hundreds of millions of euros in lost profits.

Most recently, they were on strike for six days in November, costing the airline a further 100 million euros (S$153.251 million) in profits.

Before the mediation process, the pilots had asked for an average annual pay increase of 3.7 per cent over a five-year period back-dated to 2012, which is when their last collective bargaining contract with Lufthansa expired. The pilots say altogether these increases would amount to a rise of nearly 20 per cent on current pay.

Lufthansa had proposed an increase of 4.4 per cent in two instalments in 2016 and 2017, plus a one-off payment worth 1.8 months' pay.


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