August 26, 2014 / 5:21 PM / 3 years ago

CORRECTED-Lufthansa, pilots to meet for talks Thursday in retirement row

(Corrects quote from Lufthansa spokesman in paragraph 5 by adding words “we believe”)

BERLIN, Aug 26 (Reuters) - 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)

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