Lufthansa in deal to end lengthy, bitter dispute with pilots

BERLIN (AP) " German airline Lufthansa has struck a deal to solve a bitter labor dispute with pilots that over five years has cost it an estimated half a billion dollars and more than a dozen strikes.

The airline, Germany's largest, and the Cockpit union said Wednesday they'd agreed upon an arbitrator's proposal for a new wage agreement for some 5,400 pilots.

The company said it agreed to a four-stage 8.7 percent total wage increase, and a one-off 30 million euro ($31.7 million) payment that would translate to some 5,000 euros to 6,000 euros per employee.

The new agreement will be in place until the end of 2019.

Cockpit spokesman Markus Wahl said that the union's negotiators had agreed with the proposal, but that it would be up to the union membership to sign off before it was final.

Cockpit had sought raises of 3.66 percent a year going back 5 years.

The labor strife between the two sides had been going on since 2012, with the union staging a total of 14 strikes costing Lufthansa some 500 million euros, the dpa enws agency reported.

The two sides agreed to arbitration in December.

Despite agreeing upon the arbitrator's wage proposal, dpa reported several other labor issues remain open, such as pensions and transitional payments for employees and that more strikes remain possible.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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