Lufthansa and unions agree on arbitration to end wage dispute

German carrier Lufthansa and the pilots’ union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) have agreed to approach a mediator for a collective wage agreement.
The negotiating parties have agreed to finalise the arbitration by the end of January and "to maintain industrial peace regarding the collective wage agreement until then" said Lufthansa management in a statement.
A series of strikes by the pilots have cost the airline an estimated €10m-€15m per day.
Lufthansa made an improved pay offer to pilots at the end of November as it tried to avoid further industrial action related to a dispute over wages.
The European airline giant offered a two-step 4.4% increase in remuneration plus a one-off payment. Remuneration would be increased by 2.4% for 2016 and by a further 2% for 2017.
The parties have not made any comment regarding the identity of the mediator, in order to ensure an "uninterrupted and efficient" arbitration process.
While there had been negotiations regarding the collective bargaining agreement over the last few months, they were not successful in bringing the respective positions closer together to the point of a negotiated agreement. For this reason, Lufthansa and VC have agreed to request arbitration in order to achieve a lasting solution.
Bettina Volkens, Head of Human Resources and Legal Affairs at Lufthansa, said: “We have had some intense talks over the past months and have now succeeded in agreeing on arbitration for the collective wage agreement. The negotiating table is the only place where we can find solutions that offer prospects for employees and for the company.
“I am confident that we will be able to develop a fair solution with the assistance of a mediator. We want to arrive at a long-term industrial peace in cooperation with VC – for our customers, our employees and our shareholders.”

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