Lufthansa cancels flights on second day of strike | india | Hindustan Times
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Lufthansa cancels flights on second day of strike

india Updated: Jul 29, 2008 15:46 IST

Lufthansa, the biggest German airline, said on Tuesday it had cancelled 70 flights on the second day of an open-ended strike by the Verdi trade union for higher wages.

Service was cancelled to domestic and European destinations, a spokesman said, but represented just "three per cent of all flights" scheduled by the carrier. Long-haul flights were operating normally, he said.

A walk-out by ground maintenance personnel forced the cancellations on Tuesday.

About 5,000 maintenance, freight and catering staff stopped work on Monday but few flights were disrupted on the first day.

Verdi wants a 9.8 per cent pay hike over a year for around 50,00 workers, while Lufthansa has offered 6.7 per cent over 21 months.

Verdi said it was doing what it could to avoid inconveniencing travellers while it ratcheted up the pressure on Lufthansa.

"The goal of the strike is not to hinder passengers but to increase the cost to the company," Verdi's chief negotiator Erhard Ott said on Monday, noting that ordering catering from other firms or docking planes in other hangars was "very pricey".

He added that Lufthansa had already seen a decline in reservations in recent weeks as wary passengers booked with other carriers.

The newspaper Die Welt quoted Verdi as saying the strike would cost Lufthansa $7.