Iberia Pilot Union Agrees on Talks with Airline

Unions that represent workers at Iberia, the Spain based airline owned by International Airlines Group (IAG), have agreed to participate in negotiations with IAG for planned job cutbacks.

Previously, IAG had proposed a comprehensive plan to restructure the airline, which includes a decrease of 4,500 jobs, reducing network capacity by 15 percent in 2013, and removing around 25 aircraft from the fleet.

The company has also recently announced that it has acquired support from its workers’ unions to negotiate its Transformation Plan.

The company has released a statement saying, ‘Iberia and unions representing ground staff and cabin crews, comprising 93 percent of the total staff, have agreed to negotiate the terms of the company’s Transformation Plan, aimed at restoring profitability and ensuring the airline’s future.

In today’s meeting Iberia management reiterated its wish to rely chiefly on early retirements to achieve about two-thirds of the staff reduction called for in the plan. It is also prepared to negotiate such formulas as payoff for voluntary resignations, and transfers of employees to different positions and/or different locations.

The two sides agreed to negotiate terms for a five-year period, through 2017. The company stressed that its restructuring plan indicates its commitment to the future of the company, which plans to invest millions in new aircraft, new long-haul seating classes, improvements to its Madrid hub, and in its maintenance, handling, and cargo divisions, amongst others.’

SEPLA, the union to which Iberia’s pilots are affiliated, has reported, ‘Since it is necessary to negotiate a multilateral agreement with all groups of the airline, Iberia has invited SEPLA to negotiate ‘without delay’ a transformation plan to solve their problems of competitiveness.’