(Corrects quote from Lufthansa spokesman in paragraph 5 by
adding words "we believe")
BERLIN Aug 26 German airline Lufthansa
and pilots' union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) will return
to the negotiating table on Thursday as they seek to reach
agreement in a dispute over an early retirement scheme, both
sides said on Tuesday.
The pilots said at the end of last week that talks had
failed and fresh strike action was imminent.
The union wants to put pressure on Lufthansa to maintain an
early retirement scheme that allows pilots to retire at 55 and
still keep some of their pay until they reach the age at which
state pension payments start.
Lufthansa, which had urged the pilots to return for talks,
said it was pleased with the response.
"We believe this means there is no immediate danger of a
strike," a Lufthansa spokesman said, adding that the talks would
give the two sides a chance to decide how to move forward.
The pilots already held a three-day strike in April,
virtually grounding Lufthansa and wiping 60 million euros off
its profits in the first half of the year.
The union had said any strike this time is likely to be for
only a few hours at a time and limited to particular locations,
rather than the nationwide action of April.
(Reporting by Victoria Bryan; editing by Jane Baird)