Lufthansa and pilots resume talks: Union

Employees calling for improved pay, retirement

FRANKFURT (Reuters) — Lufthansa and the union representing pilots that have staged a series of a walkouts in a labour dispute with the German airline have resumed contact nearly a month after negotiations were put on hold.

Talks were halted after a plane operated by Lufthansa's budget carrier Germanwings crashed in the French Alps, killing all 150 people aboard.

"There is contact (with the airline)," Ilja Schulz, president of pilots' union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC), said on the sidelines of an event on Wednesday.

The row between the pilots and the airline involves early retirement benefits that VC wants to keep but Lufthansa wants to change for new employees. The pilots also want Lufthansa to enter mediation on issues including pay and cost cuts.

Lufthansa pilots have staged more than a dozen strikes over the past year, costing the airline more than 200 million euros ($214.6 million) in lost operating profit last year.

VC has held off from calling strikes since the Germanwings crash.

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