The cancellation of a two-day strike by the union representing Lufthansa pilots came after a last-minute settlement with Germany’s largest airline over the salary issue. In order to pressure the company to make a “serious” offer in negotiations over a wage increase, the Vereinigung Cockpit union previously announced plans to close on Wednesday and Thursday. It could have been the second strike in a week, after pilots pulled out on Friday that led to hundreds of flights being cancelled. The union stated that the two parties reached a large package of monetary and structural issues in rushed negotiations on Tuesday, with details to be worked out in the coming days.
Then the union called off the strike. Ahead of the talks, Lufthansa said it would have to decide by noon which flights it would cancel in the coming days, and the strike would have “serious consequences” for its flight plan.
It was not immediately clear what the agreement would entail. Vereinigung Cockpit has called for a 5.5 percent increase for its members this year and an 8.2 percent increase in 2023 to break inflation. The pilots also sought a new pay and vacation structure. The airline said the measures would increase staffing costs by about 40 percent, or about 900 million euros, over two years.
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Instead, it was offering a one-time increase of 900 euros (dollars), a 5 percent increase for senior pilots and an 18 percent increase for those beginning a career. Strong unions have traditionally worked to ensure good conditions for workers in Germany, using strikes to press their demands into labor disputes.