Lufthansa cabin crews to begin week-long strike Friday

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Lufthansa’s flight attendant union announced it will begin a week-long strike Friday after last-ditch talks over retirement benefits failed.

The UFO union said the strike would begin after 12:00 pm (1100 GMT), but the number and types of flights affected were unclear. Details were expected to be released early Friday.

Lufthansa said it was on standby for major disruption, anticipating that it can keep some flights airborne with non-union crews.

About 19,000 flight attendants are covered by the labour negotiations.

Lufthansa wants to lower retirement benefits for staff it hires in the future, link benefits to market returns on investment and restrict the practice of taking early retirement at 55.

The union insists on retaining many of its benefits long-term.

Lufthansa has said it will not up its offer, but hopes to persuade the union of the merits of its existing proposals, which would give flight attendants added incentives to work to age 67.

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