Union rules out warning strikes at Lufthansa until mid-April

FRANKFURT Mon Apr 8, 2013 6:25am EDT

The Logo of German air carrier Lufthansa is pictured next to a departure board during a five-hour warning strike, following a pay dispute, represented by German united services union Ver.di at the Fraport airport in Frankfurt March 21, 2013. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

The Logo of German air carrier Lufthansa is pictured next to a departure board during a five-hour warning strike, following a pay dispute, represented by German united services union Ver.di at the Fraport airport in Frankfurt March 21, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Lisi Niesner

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German trade union Verdi has ruled out warning strikes at Lufthansa (LHAG.DE) until the middle of next week, saying the airline pledged to present a new offer at the next negotiation round starting Apr. 17.

"Therefore, there won't be any warning strikes up to and including April 17," a Verdi spokesman said on Monday.

On Friday, Verdi had threatened to call for warning strikes before the third round of negotiations.

The union is demanding a 5.2 percent wage increase for around 33,000 staff at Lufthansa Cargo, catering unit LSG Sky Chefs, Lufthansa Technik, Lufthansa Systems, ground and cabin staff.

Lufthansa had to cancel close to 40 percent of its flights on March 21 as staff went on strike on the eve of wage talks with the airline, which is trying to cut costs to compete with Middle East and low-cost carriers.

(Reporting by Peter Maushagen; Editing by Helen Massy-Beresford)

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