Lufthansa unit Germanwings hit by new pilots' strike

[Frankfurt] 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.

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.

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. AFP

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