Lufthansa facing strike warning amid arbitration bid | News | DW | 26.12.2019
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Lufthansa facing strike warning amid arbitration bid

The German union representing Lufthansa cabin personnel says it will brief its members late Friday on a potential strike call before the year's end. Airline management says it is interested in further arbitration.

The Frankfurt-based union Independent Flight Attendant Organization (UFO) said it would announce stoppage details on its YouTube channel late afternoon Friday local time (1600 UTC).

UFO spokesman Nicoley Baublies told the German news agency DPA that strike action — withheld over Christmas — was intended before the year's close.

A strike in November led to cancellation of 1,500 flights of Lufthansa's core fleet, affecting some 200,000 passengers. Walkouts in the monthslong row has previously involved the group's smaller subsidiary airlines.

For months, Lufthansa and the union have wrangled over multiple industrial relations issues.

The outlines of a potential settlement culminated in Lufthansa removing personnel director Bettina Volkens from her post, reportedly over her more moderate approach.

On Thursday a Lufthansa management spokesman said: "We are still interested in a major arbitration. Strikes from our point of view are no solution."

In the past, Lufthansa had challenged UFO's representation of at least 22,000 cabin crew employees after an internal union leadership struggle.

Before Christmas, two arbitrators — former Federal Labor Agency chief Frank-Jürgen Weise and former Brandenburg state premier Matthias Platzeck, of the center-left Social Democrats — issued invitations for talks.

The arbitrators met representatives of both sides, but UFO subsequently described last Sunday's encounter as "not successful."

The union is also demanding the withdrawal of termination notices and lawsuits against former and current trade union board members.

ipj/kl (dpa, AFP)

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