Iberia Employees May Go On Strike Before Christmas

Employees of Iberia, the Spain-based airline owned by International Airlines Group (IAG), are planning a strike over Christmas in protest against impending job cuts.

Union officials at the airline have warned of a strike action during Christmas, to protest against an earlier announcement made by IAG for a comprehensive plan to restructure the airline, which includes a reduction of 4,500 jobs, a reduction of network capacity by 15 percent in 2013, and the removal of around 25 aircraft from the fleet.

The strikes are likely to be held on December 14, and between December 17 and December 21, 2012.

A spokesperson for the UGT union, the second largest union in Spain, said, ‘All of the unions are in intense talks to fix dates for action against the plan to dismantle Iberia.’

Earlier, IAG said in a statement, ‘In the short term the transformation will focus on stemming the losses and creating a profitable route network. This will include suspending loss-making routes and frequencies and ensuring there is effective feed for profitable long haul flights.

As well as halting Iberia’s financial decline we will establish a viable business that can grow profitably in the long term. Short and medium haul operations will be transformed to compete effectively with low cost carriers who have successfully established themselves in Iberia’s home market. The plan will see comprehensive productivity improvements and the introduction of permanent salary adjustments to achieve a competitive and flexible cost base.’

In a counter statement, UGT said, ‘UGT, CCOO and SEPLA have indicated to the address of Iberia our absolute rejection of the terms of the proposed plan, reiterating our demand to develop and negotiate a real viability plan and, to achieve them, we are willing to take whatever actions are union accurate.

Said plan is based on the decrease of the company and the segregation of business, loading the failure of management workers

CCOO, UGT and SEPLA are willing to negotiate on the basis of good faith a viable plan for Iberia and return to the land of profitability.’