Iberia Unions Postpone Pre-Christmas Strikes

Monday’s meeting between the Iberia management and the various unions in the headquarters of the Interconfederal Mediation and Arbitration Service (SIMA) ended without any agreement being reached over a major restructuring of the company. Despite this, the unions have announced that they will call off the six days of strikes planned for the days running up to Christmas, although they say there will be a new schedule of stoppages, probably for early in January.

ABC reported that, according to union sources, over eight hours the mediators first met with representatives of the airline and then with the unions. Subsequently they presented a proposal for an agreement which was not ratified by the parties.

The proposed strike dates, which will not now take place, were this Friday, 14th December, and next week, on 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st December.

The unions UGT, CCOO, USO, Asetma, Sictpla and CTA Vuelo have called off the December strikes to avoid disrupting holiday travel, “thinking of the users”, said UGT airline industry spokesman, Francisco Rodriguez. They will meet again this week to agree on a new schedule of strikes for after Christmas.

This is the first time that, faced with conflict in the company, Iberia has gone to SIMA, a mediation mechanism that has gained legal capacity under the new labour reform.

Iberia already pointed out that they had turned to SIMA in order to “attempt to call off a strike which they considered to be unnecessary and disproportionate, considering the company has shown its willingness to negotiate the transformation plan.”

The plan calls for the cutting of 4,500 jobs, pay cuts of between 25% and 35%, a decrease in routes of 15%, and fleet by 25 aircraft, plus the segregation of ground maintenance and services activities.

The Ministry of Development, which will set the minimum services, said it will endeavour at all times to preserve the public service of mobility in the air sector and called on both parties for “responsibility” and to “lend a hand” in these difficult times.