Lufthansa says it has not yet reached agreement with unions on crisis package

Business

Lufthansa (LHAG.DE) has not yet reached an agreement with unions on a package to cut staff costs, it said on Tuesday, adding to the pressure on the German airline before a crunch shareholder vote on a 9 billion euro bailout plan to be held on Thursday.

Germany’s flagship carrier, hit hard by the coronavirus-induced travel slump, said talks with pilot union VC and cabin crew union UFO would continue ahead of the meeting in an effort to secure an agreement and pave the way for the state to take a 20% stake in the airline.

The bailout is also being complicated by shareholder Heinz Thiele, who owns a 15.5% stake and says the state, which would take two seats on the supervisory board, would have too much power.

An online meeting between Thiele and Germany’s Economy minister Peter Altmaier and Finance minister Olaf Scholz on Monday proved inconclusive.

Thiele could abstain from the June 25 vote, veto the package, or take legal action afterwards, local media reports say.

Up to 22,000 jobs could be at stake at the airline. Services union Verdi said on Monday that further talks had been scheduled for Friday. Lufthansa said that showed Verdi was not prepared to come to an agreement before the shareholder meeting.

Shares, which had fallen 3.8% in Monday’s session, were down by 1% at 1045 GMT.