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Lufthansa pilots voted for a new strike. I am asking for a 5.5% salary increase


Strikes and staff shortages have already forced airlines, including Lufthansa, to cancel thousands of flights and caused hours-long queues at major airports, frustrating tourists eager to travel after the lockdowns caused by COVID-19.

The vote does not necessarily mean there will be a strike, but it was a signal to the employer that constructive action must be taken, said Marcel Groels, board member of the pilot union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC).

“We show that we are ready to talk,” he added.

A Lufthansa spokesman said that he respects the results of the vote and hopes for a constructive solution at the negotiating table.

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The VC pilots’ union is demanding a 5.5% pay rise this year for its pilots and automatic inflation compensation thereafter. It also wants a uniform pay structure for all staff at Lufthansa group airlines, which include flagship carrier Lufthansa as well as low-cost division Eurowings.

Lufthansa has already been hit by a strike by its ground staff on Wednesday, which forced the carrier to cancel more than 1,000 flights.

Separately, pilots at Lufthansa’s Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) division rejected a contract proposal by 80 percent, their union Aeropers said on Sunday, adding that it aims to resume negotiations with SWISS management as soon as possible.

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“If the management continues not to recognize the signs of the times and does not immediately offer adequate solutions, then the pilots must show even more clearly to the management how dissatisfied they are”, it is said without elaborating. The current contract expired in April after management rejected a tentative deal from initial talks, Aeropers said.

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