Lufthansa says it wants quick pay deal with unions


FRANKFURT, Feb 25 (Reuters) - German airline Lufthansa LHAG.DE said on Sunday it was keen on moving ahead in wage negotiations for thousands of ground crew after labour union Verdi demanded the company offers a higher pay increase aimed at averting more strike action.

"We have taken note of Verdi's statements and are still interested in a quick agreement," a company spokesperson said in a written reply to an enquiry.

Ground staff walked off the job at major airports on Tuesday in their second strike this month, which Lufthansa said had affected 100,000 passengers.

The fourth meeting in the dispute over pay for some 25,000 ground staff ended fruitlessly on Thursday. March 13 or 14 had been pencilled in beforehand as the next date for a meeting.

But Verdi said on Saturday it was now seeking an earlier meeting to speed a deal. "Negotiators have asked Lufthansa to gather for a further meeting before March 13," it said.

"However, the prerequisite for that is a significantly improved offer by the employer, that should be delivered (to us) beforehand."

Verdi said Lufthansa on Jan. 21 and 22 had only made two amendments to its initial offer, characterising those points as "small concessions". Lufthansa had also lengthened the duration of a proposed new pay structure by three months to 28 months, Verdi said.

Verdi is demanding a wage rise of 12.5% or at least 500 euros ($541) per month over a 12-month period, plus a one-time payment of 3,000 euros.

($1 = 0.9244 euros)

(Reporting by Vera Eckert; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

((; +49 30 2201 33654; @EckertVera;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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