Lufthansa cabin crew union calls members out on strike, could start Friday

A union representing cabin crew at Germany's Lufthansa is calling members out on strike in a contract dispute with the airline.

The UFO union earlier this week threatened a weeklong strike starting Friday. Confirming Thursday that strikes will go ahead, it gave no immediate details of the extent of the walkouts but said that they won't start before midday German time (1100 GMT) Friday, news agency dpa reported.

It said further details will be given Friday.

Among other things, the union wants to secure transition payments for its 19,000 members if they retire early.

Lufthansa, which is trying to cut costs in the face of competition from European budget airlines and Persian Gulf carriers, also has been locked in a dispute with a union representing pilots.