Airline Lufthansa grounds 1,300 flights due to massive worker strike

Airline Lufthansa grounds 1,300 flights due to massive worker strike
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German airline Lufthansa grounded 1,300 flights Thursday due to thousands of its flight attendants going on strike.


UFO, the airline's union, said in a statement that the strike was inevitable because both the airline and the flight attendants failed to find common ground in labor negotiations. 

NPR reports that the strike is affecting 180,000 passengers.

"Lufthansa and the union representing the flight attendants have been at odds for months over the union's legal status, and a last-minute effort by the airline to halt the strike failed after a court in Frankfurt confirmed the walkout was legal," NPR's Rob Schmitz told the station's Newscast Unit Thursday.

Local Germany, an English language German publication, also reported that Lufthansa was forced to "scrap 700 flights on Thursday and some 600 on Friday," adding that while UFO had agreed to more talks this weekend, the strike would not be cut short.

Germany's largest airline released a statement Wednesday, criticizing the strike. 

"The Independent Flight Attendant Organisation (UFO) has called on its cabin crew to go on strike for two days on 7 and 8 November," the company said in the statement.

"Lufthansa condemns the strike call in the strongest possible terms. Affected passengers were transferred to other flights free of charge."