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Lufthansa cabin crew union members back cost cut deal


BERLIN (Reuters) - Cabin crew at Lufthansa have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a deal to stop pay rises and cut hours, the UFO trade union said on Saturday as the German airline battles to rein in losses due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Lufthansa reached the deal in June with UFO, which represents 22,000 cabin crew, to reap more than 500 million euros ($592.05 million) in savings from shorter hours and an equivalent cut in pay as well as a temporary reduction in pension contributions.

Last week, the airline put German workers on notice of compulsory layoffs, saying the slump in travel and slow progress in union negotiations meant cuts were unavoidable after the carrier lost 1.7 billion euros in a single quarter.

Lufthansa, which in June received a 9 billion euro government bailout to secure its future, said last week it expected capacity to recover to only around 50% of normal by the end of 2020 and to two thirds of last year's level in 2021.

Lufthansa said on Thursday it had walked away from talks with union Verdi on behalf of 35,000 ground staff over a package to cut staff costs and would only return to the negotiating table if Verdi offers significant cost savings.

(Reporting by Emma Thomasson and Georg Merziger; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

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