Lufthansa holds its breath for pilot ballot results

LUFTHANSA pilots have been balloted by the union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) as to whether they should strike over a disputed pay rise and job security concerns. The union is confident that it will reach the 70 per cent agreement needed to approve the strike.Negotiations between Lufthansa and VC broke down in December when the union demanded a 6.4 per cent pay rise for the pilots.The pilots are allegedly also worried that their jobs will be moved over to the pilots of Lufthansa’s new subsidiaries, such as Austrian Airlines and Brussels Airlines, who are paid significantly less.VC claims that its negotiations have been “constructive” and that it wants a “reasonable agreement” with the airline. However, a Lufthansa spokesman said that the strike was a mistake: “It’s not the right time, with the industry under so much pressure,” he explained.Meanwhile, in light of the recent price increase of oil, which has hit a 15-month high of US$83.95, Lufthansa cargo has increased its fuel surcharge by five euro cents to 0.75 euro ($1.08) per kg, effective on 25 January.

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