Lufthansa unit Germanwings hit by new pilots' strike

15th October 2014, Comments 0 comments

The German pilots' union Vereinigung Cockpit on Wednesday called for a new 12-hour walkout at Germanwings, the low-cost airline belonging to Lufthansa, in an ongoing dispute over retirement benefits.

Cockpit said in a statement that it was calling a strike from noon (10:00 GMT) until 11:59 pm (2159 GMT) on Thursday.

"All Germanwings flights across Germany will be affected," the statement said.

A spokeswoman for Germanwings said that 218 flights would be hit by the strike.

The union accused Lufthansa management of "stonewalling" and refusing to consider any compromise solutions proposed by GDL.

"We regret the inconvenience the strike will cause passengers and urge Lufthansa to abandon its stubborn position," it said.

Lufthansa pilots can currently take paid early retirement from the age of 55. They are fighting a plan by the airline to raise the minimum age and to involve pilots in the financing of their pensions.

Vereinigung Cockpit already grounded thousands of Lufthansa flights during three days of strikes in March and April, costing the airline around 60 million euros ($76 million).

In a new wave of walkouts since the end of August, the strike on Thursday will be the sixth day of industrial action.

The German national rail operator Deutsche Bahn said Wednesday that 70 percent of its long-distance services would be cancelled after train drivers walked out in a dispute over pay.

© 2014 AFP

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