Iberia unions cancel Christmas strike

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Madrid, Spain (4E) – In the interest of Iberia SA’s customers, unions representing the airline’s flight and ground crews announced on Monday that they are calling off their six-day strike in December despite no agreement has been reached yet on the company’s restructuring plan.

To avoid disruption during the Christmas period, the unions have decided to cancel the strike, although they did not rule out a strike action in January after the Christmas holidays.

A spokesman for the General Workers Union (UGT) said the group will study new actions if disagreements persists by January.

The Union Sindical Obrera (USO), meanwhile, said that they have decided to call off the strike because of the dates and they do not want to harm the passengers.

Several Iberia employees had originally a planned for a strike action on Dec. 14 and Dec. 17-21. Unions had previously maintained that they do not accept outright job losses although they are willing for a compromise on wage cuts.

Iberia is owned by the loss-making International Airlines Group (IAG), which also owns British Airways.

Last month, Iberia announced a restructuring plan that includes layoffs of about a quarter of its staff, as well as further pay cuts and closure of several airline routes. Under the plan, 573 pilots, 932 cabin-crew personnel and 3,037 ground staff will be out of work.

In a statement, Iberia’s management said that it welcomes the move by the union, describing it as the first step toward necessary dialogue.

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