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Union asks members to vote on whether to strike German carrier

January 13, 1997

HAMBURG, Germany (AP) _ A union representing Lufthansa pilots called Monday for a strike vote against the German national airline in a showdown over the length of new work contracts.

The DAG union, which held warning strikes of several hours each in November and December, wants Lufthansa to agree on a one-year contract rather than one that runs for 27 months.

Union Chairman Hubert Gartz said he regrets that Lufthansa did not reconsider its position over the holiday break to back down on the lengthy contract proposal.

A DAG statement said it will take three to four weeks to complete the strike vote. The time is needed to allow members who are working outside Germany to participate in the poll, which requires 70 percent approval to authorize a strike.

Talks between Lufthansa and DAG broke off Dec. 9, over the length of a new contract as well as vacation time and the amount of Christmas bonuses. The last one-year contract expired Sept. 30.

DAG negotiators, representing Lufthansa pilots, are trying to improve a contract that was agreed to by Germany’s OeTV public workers and transport union in October for some 50,000 Lufthansa employees.

The new OeTV contract, ending Dec. 31, 1998, agreed to a one-time payment equal to one-third of a month’s salary, plus a 1.7 percent pay raise effective April 1, 1998.

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