Five Iberia strikes in second half of February
IBERIA employees have announced their planned strikes will commence on Friday, February 15 and at least five will take place before the end of the month.
Pilots, cabin crew and ground staff intend to down tools for 24 hours at a time after negotiations between unions and airline bosses failed.
They will consult firstly with the inter-confederal mediation and arbitration service (SIMA) which is heading up talks between the company and its workers, to tell them of their 'last resort – conflict'.
“We will explain to SIMA about the broken promises we have seen and the steps we intend to take to protect our jobs and the future of Iberia,” said a spokesperson.
They put forward proposals to the airline which included increasing productivity and pilots taking a 26-per-cent pay-cut, with new staff being paid 50 per cent less, among other measures.
But these were rejected out of hand by the company, which plans to make over 4,500 employees redundant and cut down on fleet and flight routes to return the firm to profit after having accumulated losses of 300 million euros in 2012.
Faced with workers' proposals, Iberia managers threatened to wind up the firm, which pilots and other staff call 'blackmail'.
“We shall continue to fight for an agreement on Iberia's future will all the legal, social and political weapons we have within our reach, and will give everything we've got to protect the airline, given how important it is for society and tourism,” said a union representative and employee.
The holding company IAG, the result of the merger between Iberia and British Airways, denies that the management has refused to negotiate with workers.
Manager Willie Walsh said: “Iberia continues to be ready and willing to negotiate with the unions.
“We are determined and united in preparation to implement the changes necessary for the survival and future viability of Iberia.”
At least five strikes – but possibly more – will take place between February 15 and 28 this year.
Source: Think Spain