LTU Pilots Vote To Strike Over Pay

August 7, 2007

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Pilots at German carrier LTU, which is being bought by Air Berlin, have voted to go on strike over pay and working conditions, pilot union Vereinigung Cockpit said.

Staff staged brief walkouts on Monday that led to delays for LTU as the pilots seek a 6 percent pay rise, changes to starting salaries and longer rest periods, Cockpit vice-President Niels Stueben said.

But LTU warned that strikes could endanger the survival of the loss-making carrier.

"More than a week in the high season would be very critical for us," a spokesman said on Monday. "We are now preparing ourselves for an industrial dispute and expect restraint in any case until further talks take place on Thursday."

Air Berlin's acquisition of LTU faces cartel concerns. The German cartel office began a more detailed investigation in May of the impact of a merger of the two airlines on competition.

(Reuters)