Lufthansa pilots’ strike expanded to long-haul services

Lufthansa planes

A Lufthansa pilots’ strike on Monday affecting mostly European flights has been expanded to include long-haul destinations on Tuesday.

Pilots on short-haul routes are due to strike from midday Monday for 35 hours, causing the cancellation of 1,450 flights and hitting 200,000 travellers.

Pilots are protesting against plans to alter retirement and pension terms.

German rail travellers also faced cancellations and delays over the weekend as strikes hit the railways

Only about a third of inter-city trains were running. The two strikes are over unrelated issues.

Retirement age

Monday’s Lufthansa strike will be the eighth this year. The union’s decision to also target long-haul services on Tuesday marks a deepening of the dispute.

Last week, the pilot’s union, Vereinigung Cockpit, called out its members at Lufthansa’s budget airline, Germanwings, for a 12-hour stoppage.

“Regrettably Lufthansa has not acted on the compromise proposals of VC after seven strikes now since April this year and is stonewalling,” the union said in a statement.

The union, which represents about 5,400 Lufthansa pilots, is calling on the airline to reconsider its decision to raise the age that they can retire from 55.

The company has offered to retain the scheme for existing members but not to extend it to new recruits.

Monday’s strike is expected to affect affect mostly services in Europe. Lufthansa said it hoped to be able to operate a third of its flights.

Germany’s government is expected to produce a draft law later this year aimed at stopping small numbers of employees paralysing large parts of the country’s infrastructure through strike action.

The train drivers’ strike was over demands by the GDL for a 5% pay for 20,000 drivers and a shorter working week.

Deutsche Bahn has promised normal services will resume on Monday.

The head of the GDL union, Claus Weselsky, said there would be a week-long break before any further strikes.

Sourced from BBC News

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