Lufthansa braces for cabin crew strike as talks collapse

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Lufthansa cabin crew are calling for strikes following the collapse of last-ditch negotiations with the airline, though it is not yet clear when the walkouts will take place.

The German airline and flight attendant union UFO have been locked in a dispute over future pay and working conditions for more than a year.

Discussions had already been called off earlier this month, when UFO started to prepare industrial action for Lufthansa's approximately 19,000 cabin crew members.

Last week, however, both sides unexpectedly returned to the table for eleventh hour talks after the carrier signalled a softening on some central points of disagreement, including the use of external staff.

The latest round of negotiations ended without an agreement yesterday (27 August), a Lufthansa spokesman confirms to Flightglobal.

He adds that the union is planning industrial action in the short-term, although it is not yet clear how extensive it will be.

Lufthansa had offered to increase salaries by 3.5%, matching the airline's previous wage hikes. But the two sides could not agree on structural changes geared at boosting productivity, the spokesman says.

UFO could not be reached for immediate comment. The union said last week that it will go ahead with its strike plans if no agreement is reached by 27 August.