Lufthansa strikes on hold as mediation starts

Lufthansa strikes on hold as mediation starts

The Lufthansa cabin crew union responsible for a series of disruptive strikes is putting further action on hold after the airline agreed to talks.

The airline cancelled approximately half of its scheduled 1,800 flights because of a one-day walk out last Friday affecting more than 100,000 passengers.

Airlines such as British Airways, Air Berlin and Austrian Airlines flew larger aircraft on routes to Germany to help minimize the impact to passengers.

It was the third strike in a week by the UFO union, which is seeking a 5% pay increase for cabin crew and assurances on jobs after a three-year pay freeze.

The union, which represents about two-thirds of the German carrier's 19,000 cabin crew, agreed to enter formal mediation talks to resolve the dispute.

This came after Lufthansa made a major concession by offering permanent contracts to some temporary cabin crew.

Lufthansa chief executive Christoph Franz said: "We hope that this step will help UFO to join us in constructive talks to come up with a competitive pay structure for cabin crew.”

He reportedly told ZDF Television in Germany that he had “not anticipated a movement of this scale” and described the industrial action as disproportionate.

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