CityLine pilots to vote on new pay agreement

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Pilots at German regional carrier Lufthansa CityLine are to vote on whether to call off their strike threat after intensive talks led to members of the Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) union agreeing a new pay deal with the airline’s management.

CityLine pilots had already voted in favour of industrial action after talks collapsed on 15 February, although no date had been set for a strike. Talks resumed on 20 February.

A VC spokesman says that the new three-year pay deal, which will be implemented retroactively from 1 July last year, was reached after a 65h marathon session of “long and difficult” negotiations.

“The threat of a pilots’ strike has been averted,” claims a CityLine spokesman. “This pay settlement is economically viable for the airline. It takes the economic developments in the aviation industry into consideration. It will result in specific improvements in the pay scales for the company’s pilots.”

VC members, however, have yet to accept the pay deal formally; this will be decided in a ballot by pilots which begins this week. Under union regulations at least 50% agreement is required for the deal to go through.

“Strikes are always the last means in a wage-negotiation conflict,” says the VC negotiator Michael Mages. “We are optimistic that – subject to the agreement of the union members – that such a strike has now been avoided.”

Lufthansa CityLine is a subsidiary of the German flag-carrier and employs 663 pilots among a staff of more than 2,100.