German court rejects Lufthansa bid to prevent pilots' strike

Last Updated: Mon, Nov 28, 2016 22:40 hrs
Planes stand on the tarmac during a pilots strike of German airline Lufthansa at Frankfurt airport

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - A Munich court has rejected a request by Lufthansa to issue a temporary injunction to prevent the latest strike planned the German airline's pilots in a long-running dispute over pay.

Lufthansa had sought the injunction after it was forced to cancel 2,800 flights because of last week's four-day strike and said on Monday that another strike planned for the next two days would result in a further 1,700 cancellations.

"The Munich labour court has dismissed the application because the planned strike measures are not evidently illegal," the court said in a statement.

Lufthansa had argued that demands by pilots for higher pay increases for staff with at least 12 years of service infringe a German law on equal treatment, the court said, adding that the airline has appealed against the decision not to halt the strikes.

"We will now examine the reasons for the verdict and possible further legal steps," Lufthansa said by email.

Lufthansa has offered to increase the pilots' pay by 4.4 percent in two instalments and to make a one-off payment worth 1.8 months' pay over a six-year period.

The Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) union is demanding an average annual pay rise of 3.7 percent for 5,400 pilots over a five-year period backdated to 2012. VC rejected the latest pay offer from Lufthansa late on Friday.

(Reporting by Peter Maushagen; Additional reporting by Jens Hack in Munich and Andreas Cremer in Berlin; Writing by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Arno Schuetze and David Goodman)

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