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Strikes

Pilots at Germany's Lufthansa airline vote to go on strike

Pilots at Germany’s flag-carrier airline have voted to go out on strike. It wasn’t immediately clear when disruption to Lufthansa's schedule might begin.

An overwhelming 97 percent of members of the pilots' trade union, Vereinigung Cockpit (VC), on Friday voted in favor of going out on strike. The Frankfurt-based union announced the results of the vote on Friday, after the deadline had expired for the 5,400 Lufthansa pilots to cast their ballots.

Shortly after the announcement, the union said work stoppages could begin at any time.

"With immediate effect, Lufthansa can expect limited or unlimited strikes," Ilona Ritter, a member of VC's executive said.

The union also said any work stoppages would be announced 48 hours ahead of time, in order to give Lufthansa passengers the chance to chance their travel plans. However, it has ruled out going out on strike during the upcoming Easter holidays, a period of heavy travel in Germany.

Lufthansa's passengers were among the hardest hit by a strike by security staff at the German flag-carrier's base, Frankfurt airport, last month.

"No one of us really wants to strike and we've been negotiating very patiently, but our patience has run out," the union's chief negotiator, Thomas von Sturm, said.

The pilots are demanding higher wages and are also at odds with management over the cutting of so-called 'transition contracts' handed to pilots who stop flying before the legal age of retirement.

pfd/jr (dpa, AFP)

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