SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)- Pilots with Germany’s Lufthansa airline are set to stage a fresh strike in an ongoing dispute with the carrier over retirement benefits.
Members of the country’s Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) union will walk off their jobs from noon local time on Monday (11:00 GMT), affecting Lufthansa’s short- and medium-haul flights.
The action will continue until 3:00 local time (2:00 GMT) on Tuesday, when the strike will expand to include the airline’s long-distance and cargo flights and will last until midnight.
The union said in a statement that the new strike was called after negotiations failed with Lufthansa, Europe’s largest airline, “despite all efforts for compromise proposals” by the pilots in several rounds of talks since October.
The statement added that the pilots are defending themselves “resolutely” against the planned reforms to the early retirement scheme that would raise the minimum age to 60.
Under the current scheme, pilots are allowed to retire at the age of 55 and receive up to 60 percent of their pay until they turn 65, which is the country’s statutory retirement age.
The pilots want to keep their current retirement scheme and to continue receiving the transition payouts; however, Lufthansa, which faces tough competition from European budget airlines and major Persian Gulf airlines, wants to cut the payments.
Lufthansa pilots have already staged nine walkouts this year, which canceled hundreds of flights and stranded thousands of passengers.