Cabin crew union calls for mediation in conflict with Lufthansa

The German flight attendants’ union Ufo said on Monday that it is willing to refrain from striking if Lufthansa agrees to pursue wide-ranging mediation talks.

Ufo and the airline have been at loggerheads for some time, due not only to wage issues, but also the recognition of Ufo as a trade union. It has organized a series of cabin crew strikes that have impeded German air travel.

The two sides are due to meet on January 16.

The union wants any mediation to cover a broad range of topics beyond just wage issues. It is demanding the reversal of dismissals and lawsuits against its former and current board members and wants the persistent conflict with the airline to be tackled. It also wants to achieve separate solutions for Lufthansa’s subsidiaries.

Lufthansa on Monday welcomed the fact that Ufo had confirmed the January 16 talks.

“Lufthansa continues to expect that in this context, good solutions and perspectives for the around 22,000 cabin crew members can be achieved,” the company said. “Our goal remains to enter into a large-scale mediation with Ufo and the mediators.”

But it wants issues not related to collective agreements to be handled “in parallel through separate proceedings.”

Ufo had held a three-day strike over New Year at the Lufthansa subsidiary Germanwings; around 200 flights were cancelled. Strikes had previously also taken place at four other subsidiaries, as well as a two-day strike at the Lufthansa parent company.

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