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Germany: Lufthansa pilots begin strike
In a dispute over job security, 4000 pilots at Lufthansa, Lufthansa cargo and its Germanwings low-cost subsidiary have gone on strike for four days, as of midnight on Sunday 21 February. In an attempt to mitigate against the effects of the strike on its 1800 daily flights, Lufthansa will use some of its managers as pilots and also rely on some of its regional subsidiaries. The Cockpit union is demanding Lufthansa stop its practice of using foreign pilots who are paid less and instead wants all pilots, even those at foreign affiliates, to receive the same wage. According to the AFP press agency, Lufthansa rejected the union’s offer to set aside the issue of equal pay on Sunday to focus on other issues of concern. Lufthansa suffered a drop in sales of 13% in the first 9 months of 2009 while also being negatively affected by competition from low-cost airlines and high fuel prices.