(Adds unions to meet on Thursday to decide on strike)
PARIS, March 13 (Reuters) - Air France said on Tuesday it had rejected a demand by staff for a 6 percent wage increase and instead offered unions to compensate workers for any reduction in spending power since 2011, hoping to avert a planned March 23 strike.
The carrier said its workers’ demands were impossible to meet in the current financial situation without compromising the company’s growth strategy, and proposed negotiations.
“As a result, at the end of these negotiations, no Air France employee will have seen their purchasing power decrease over this period,” the company said in the statement.
“Management has asked the unions to lift their strike notice and has indicated that it is willing to begin talks as quickly as possible,” it added.
The unions, which called the strike last week after failing to reach a deal, said they would meet on Thursday to decide whether to extend the planned strike to a two-day stoppage.
A walkout last month resulted in the cancellation of more than half of the company’s long-haul flights. (Reporting by Cyril Altmeyer and Bate Felix Editing by Richard Lough and Mark Potter)