[QODLink]
Europe

Strike grounds hundreds of Lufthansa flights

Most of German carrier's services cancelled as striking cabin crews and ground staff demand better pay.

Last Modified: 22 Apr 2013 10:21
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
The airline said that only a handful of its scheduled flights will operate on Monday [EPA]

Most of Lufthansa's, Germany's national airline, domestic, European and long-haul flights have been cancelled due to strikes by ground personnel and cabin crews.

"Due to strike action announced for April 22, nearly all Lufthansa flights to German and European destinations must be cancelled," the airline announced in a statement.

The firm said it had scheduled only around 20 of its usual 1,650 short-haul flights for Monday, and warned that long-haul routes would also be seriously affected.

At Frankfurt airport, Europe's third-busiest hub, 46 out of 50 intercontinental flights would be scrapped, with long-haul flights from Munich also grounded.

'All-out strike'

Services union Verdi called the strike after three rounds of pay talks with management ended without agreement.

Verdi is demanding a 5.2 percent pay increase for 33,000 Lufthansa ground staff, plus employees of various subsidiaries, as well as cabin crew members who are Verdi members.

The escalating pay dispute threatens to cause transport chaos across Germany, Europe's largest economy.

It comes a month after Lufthansa cancelled nearly 700 out of a total 1,800 flights due to half a day of warning strikes.

Lufthansa board member Stefan Lauer said the action, described as a 24-hour warning strike, was "de facto an all-out strike" that was "a completely excessive measure that can in no way be justified in view of the current state of negotiations".

Verdi has accused management of "playing with employees' fears about their future and their jobs" in refusing to make any concrete guarantees.

The union has complained that the offer proposed by management represented an increase of less than one percent over a period of one year.

251

Source:
AFP
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.