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German cabin crew union threatens Lufthansa strikes after 'failed' talks

Strike of Germany's cabin crew union UFO at Frankfurt airport

BERLIN (Reuters) - German cabin crew union UFO said arbitration talks with Lufthansa <LHAG.DE> on Sunday had failed and its members could stage strikes any time from now on, though they would spare passengers industrial action on Dec. 24, 25 and 26.

In addition to a dispute over pay and pensions, UFO has been at odds with Lufthansa for months over the union's legal status. Lufthansa has said the union's leadership team that took office earlier this year was not elected in a way that met legal requirements.

"Even though we have agreed not to disclose the contents of these talks, unfortunately we must state that there was no solution ... so we failed," UFO spokesman Nicoley Baublies said in a statement after Sunday's talks.

"Industrial action must be expected again any time from now," he added. "The only thing we can disclose to our passengers is that we will leave out the Christmas holidays - specifically December 24, 25, 26."

Industrial action on Monday, Dec. 23, could not be ruled out, he said.

Lufthansa said separately that arbitrators had proposed a further meeting with UFO for early January.

"Lufthansa continues to expect that good solutions can be found for the 22,000 cabin crew members with regard to the arbitration issues," the airline said in a statement.


(Writing by Paul Carrel; editing by David Evans)