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Thursday, April 17, 2014  

Lufthansa to shun cheap contract workers
FRANKFURT Lufthansa on Friday agreed not to employ cheap contract workers as cabin crew, meeting a key union demand, as a 24-hour walkout grounded 900 flights, Europe’s biggest airline announced.

“Unilaterally, until further notice and without further preconditions, Lufthansa renounces the employment of external cabin crews,” the airline’s chief executive Christoph Franz said.

Flight attendants of temporary employment agency Aviation Power employed by the airline, “will be offered a full-time position with the Lufthansa group next year”, the company said as talks between management and the UFO union resumed on Friday afternoon.

A management statement called the decision “a huge step”.

“We hope that this will help UFO to resume constructive talks to set up a competitive salary structure for cabin crews,” it said.

“We’ve received clear signals that Lufthansa is going to move,” the head of UFO, Nicoley Baublies, had said earlier.

Baublies also said there would only be further walkouts if “the two sides fail to move closer”.

And following the 24-hour stoppage on Friday - the third separate day of industrial action in a week - no further strikes were planned in the next few days, he told ZDF public TV.

But chaos had been averted because the airline had informed passengers beforehand about cancellations via text messages, and it had also posted information on its website, a spokesman said.

Agencies
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