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Lufthansa and pilots seek to avert strike with confidential pay talks

August 9, 2022

FrankfurtGerman airline Lufthansa is to hold confidential talks with Vereinigung Cockpit (VC), the trade union representing its pilots, after striking a deal with ground staff last week, both sides said on Monday.“We have set four dates over the weeks ahead to see how far we are apart,” VC representative Andreas Pinheiro said in a podcast. VC was seeking a negotiated solution after balloting its members on strike action, he said.Lufthansa confirmed the talks to be held with no communication to the outside world. Strike action is to be suspended for the duration of the talks.Lufthansa and VC have already conducted six rounds of talks without success. Lufthansa has accepted a VC demand for 5.5% higher pay for the rest of this year, but no agreement has been reached on an automatic inflation-indexed rise from 2023 or on changes to the rate structure.Lufthansa chief executive Carsten Spohr has proposed reserving a certain number of aircraft as before for pilots of the core company.The company had earlier announced the termination of an agreement covering 325 planes up to the end of 2021, while shifting more traffic to its subsidiaries with lower operating costs. These include Eurowings Discover, a long-haul leisure carrier, and Lufthansa Cityline 2, which is currently being set up.Lufthansa and the Verdi union reached a pay deal with ground staff last week covering some 20,000 employees.