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Traffic & Travel News

Iberia strikes U-turn: Workers WILL walk out in New Year action

today27/12/2023

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Workers for Spanish airline Iberia will now strike in the New Year, after previously calling off the industrial action.

The Union General de Trabajadores (UGT) and the Workers’ Commissions (CCOO) have announced that workers will be walking out across the country from January 5 to 8.


On Saturday, Unión Sindical Obrera (USO) also announced they would join in with the action.

The strikes coincide with the Kings Day holiday on January 6, which typically sees many Spanish passengers using airports to travel.

Landing airplane during sunset - Barcelona 'El Prat Aeroport'

One of the airports Iberia lost its ground license with was Barcelona

Getty

The move comes after talks between the unions and Iberia broke down in September after the former Spanish flagship carrier lost ground handling licenses in several airports.

The airline lost its licenses in eight Spanish airlines, including Barcelona, Malaga, Alicante and Gran Canaria.

Iberia ground staff will have to be transferred to companies that successfully won the licenses.

This includes new contracts signed by state-operated Aena with new service providers in September.

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However, the workers fear that they will lose their current salaries and are instead calling for Iberia to resort to using an internal company to offer these services – known as “auto handling”.

The former flagship Spanish airline has argued that this option is not economically viable, though according to local press, an option of a “mixed” service has been floated around.

If this option is followed through with, a new company would be created.

It would be based on an 80 per cent/20 per cent split between the new license holder, and a minority group from IAG, called Yellow Handling.

British Airways flight

Passengers travelling with British Airways, and other airlines operated by parent group IAG, will also be impacted by the industrial action

PA

The unions had previously postponed industrial action in hopes of progressing talks, however, resumed stoppages when contact between the different parties broke down.

Walk-outs will likely have a huge impact on anyone travelling with Iberia, as ground staff are responsible for services such as baggage check-in.

Passengers travelling with British Airways, and other airlines operated by parent group IAG will also be impacted by the industrial action in the New Year.

In a statement from Iberia reported in El Pais, Iberia lamented the failed negotiations.

It said that “auto handling” was not a sensible option for the company, as it would cause a “definitive blow to the future of the ground service business”.



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Written by: lwrradio

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