Lufthansa Cabin Crew Union Calls Off Strike for Thursday, Friday

  • Union says it may reach a deal with German airline by Dec. 2
  • UFO and Lufthansa will enter arbitration on crew contracts

Striking Lufthansa staff hold placards during industrial action outside Frankfurt Airport.

Photographer: Martin Leissl/Bloomberg

Deutsche Lufthansa AG cabin crew called off a strike originally planned for later this week, a step toward ending a labor dispute that has already brought on the airline’s longest-ever disruption.

To avoid further protests, the UFO cabin crew union said it needs to reach a deal with Lufthansa by Dec. 2, the date of a so-called employment summit between the airline and unions including representatives of pilots and ground crew. Arbitration is planned on cabin-crew topics, and themes that affect multiple categories of workers will be discussed in a mediation process, the union said in an e-mailed statement Wednesday.

“We need to seek consensual, modified solutions,” said Nicoley Baublies, head of the UFO union. Lufthansa has moved in the direction of workers on pension questions, he said.

Flight attendants and pilots are fighting Chief Executive Officer Carsten Spohr’s efforts to overhaul Lufthansa. The CEO is seeking to stave off Ryanair Holdings Plc and EasyJet Plc by developing Lufthansa’s Eurowings into a low-cost division. The airline canceled almost 5,000 flights during a week-long walkout by flight attendants earlier this month.

Lufthansa has declined to estimate how much the flight attendants’ strike has cost. A parallel dispute with pilots that led to 12,800 cancellations over an 18-month period amounted to a financial hit of 352 million euros.

The shares rose 2.1 percent to 13.185 euros at 10 a.m. in Frankfurt.

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