INTERNATIONAL

Lufthansa says its latest two-day strike by ground crews will disrupt travel for more than 200,000 passengers

Deutsche Lufthansa AG expects the latest two-day strike by ground crews to disrupt travel for more than 200,000 passengers, putting pressure on the German airline to negotiate a deal.

Lufthansa ground staff attend a strike in Frankfurt, Germany.(REUTERS)

Labor union Verdi has called Lufthansa ground staff walk off work on Thursday and Friday after failed negotiations over pay and working conditions. Lufthansa responded it’s willing to negotiate at short notice, provided that Verdi calls off the strike.

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Ground crew are among workers in Germany’s transport industry that have walked out over salary levels as staff shortages and high inflation bite. Thousands of passengers and major German airports were hit three times last month after security staff and ground crews across the country went on strike. The latest disruption will likely get exacerbated by a strike called by workers at Deutsche Bahn AG, the German railway also negotiating improved working hours.

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“With this uncompromising stance, the union is harming the company, many hundreds of thousands of customers and the employees of our companies,” Michael Niggemann, Lufthansa’s chief human resources officer, said in the statement.

Verdi said on Monday that no agreement was reached during the fourth round of negotiations. The union has demanded a 12.5% salary increase and an extra €3,000 ($3,254.9) inflation bonus for ground staff. The next meeting is scheduled for March 13 and 14.

Lufthansa said Verdi was “deliberately seeking escalation rather than a solution” to the dispute, and it will implement a special flight plan during the 59-hour warning strike.

Lufthansa reports earnings on Thursday.

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