Lufthansa Ground, Cabin Staff To Strike

July 25, 2008

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Ground and cabin staff at German airline Lufthansa have voted to go on strike from Monday over pay, threatening travel chaos at the height of the summer travel season, Germany's Verdi union said on Friday.

"From Monday we will be taking industrial action," Erhard Ott, head of the Verdi services union, told reporters at a news conference held to announce the result of a strike ballot.

He said the mood among staff was "explosive" and said the strikes would start at 2200 GMT on Sunday. They could take place all over Germany.

Some 90.7 percent of the ground staff and cabin crews represented in the union voted for action.

Verdi is calling for a pay rise of 9.8 percent for its roughly 52,000 members. Flag carrier Lufthansa has offered an increase of 6.7 percent in two steps and a one-off payment.

At a time when Europe's biggest economy is seeing a spike in inflation, several unions are seeking bigger wage deals after restraint in recent years.