Iberia Airlines unions announce strike dates

February 8, 2013

Unions representing employees at Spanish national airline Iberia have announced a series of strike dates after talks with management broke down. 

The strikes will take place from February 18 to 22, March 4 to 8 and March 18 to 22.

The ground staff and cabin crew are protesting against plans to lay off 4,500 workers, 23 per cent of the company’s total workforce. Iberia shares the same parent as British Airways, the International Airlines Group, of which Willie Walsh is chief executive.

Gabriel Mocho, ITF civil aviation secretary, commented: “Orders from above have clearly denied Iberia the freedom to achieve a joint negotiated plan with unions to secure a profitable future for the airline.

“The fingerprints of Willie Walsh are visible in the breakdown in talks that led to this declaration. He seems once again to be following the same plan. Set the bar impossibly high. Torpedo any agreements reached. Create maximum discord. But that plan has been tried before, has been challenged before, and has failed before.”

He concluded: “The insistence on massive cost cutting and job cuts doomed the talks, leaving the unions no recourse except industrial action – a stance that seems to have widespread support at all levels in Spain.”

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