Lufthansa starts union talks covering 33,000 staff members

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Lufthansa and German service industry union Verdi on 26 February started negotiations over pay and conditions for around 33,000 employees across the airline as well as its cargo, maintenance, catering and IT subsidiaries.

Verdi says that while saving jobs is its immediate priority, its members are also demanding "notably" higher salaries. It is proposing a 5.2% increase in wages over a one-year period.

The union's membership covers ground staff and cabin crew at the passenger airline, employees at Lufthansa Cargo, catering operation LSG, MRO firm Lufthansa Technik and IT subsidiary Lufthansa Systems.

Lufthansa plans to slash around 3,500 administrative jobs across the group's international locations as part of its "Score" cost-cutting and revenue-improvement initiative, which aims to save €1.5 billion ($1.96 billion) by the end 2014.