- The Washington Times - Monday, March 22, 2010

BERLIN — Pilots at Deutsche Lufthansa AG are threatening to stage a new four-day strike in mid-April after their union and the airline failed to resolve a dispute over pay and job security.

The Cockpit union said Monday that it had called a walkout at all German locations from April 13 to 16.

The start of the planned strike was delayed until then to avoid disruption during the Easter vacation and give Lufthansa’s management “time to realign its course,” the union said in a statement.

The pilots went out on strike last month, but the planned four-day walkout was cut short after a day with an agreement to resume negotiations.

Cockpit said Lufthansa is offering no pay rise over a 21-month period combined with worsening conditions. It said it would make any concessions “dependent on securing German jobs and their development prospects.”

Lufthansa countered that its latest offer to Cockpit, made on Feb. 25, addresses Cockpit’s concerns over job security.

The airline made an offer that “is appropriate to the situation of the company and the economic environment,” company chief negotiator Roland Busch said.

He added that Lufthansa needs to ensure it has “competitive structures” and avoid cost increases under any circumstances.

The dispute at Germany’s biggest airline also affects Lufthansa Cargo and the budget Germanwings subsidiary.

Lufthansa owns or holds stakes in other airlines including Swiss International Airlines, Brussels Airlines and JetBlue of the United States. Those airlines are not affected by the dispute.

Shares of Lufthansa, which is based in Cologne, were down 1 percent in Frankfurt trading at 12.16 euros ($16.47).

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