BA workers plan show of support for Iberia strikers

Workers at UK-based British Airways are planning a show of support for striking employees of BA’s Spain-based sister company, Iberia.

Both companies are owned by UK-based International Airlines Group (IAG), and BA workers are planning to hold a lunchtime demonstration tomorrow (Wednesday) in support of their colleagues’ on going industrial action. Iberia staff are now into their second week-long walkout in protest at proposed job cuts that IAG says are necessary if the airline is to be profitable again. A further strike is planned for March 18 to 22, with a previous one already having taken place between February 18 and 22.

IAG is proposing to cut 4,500 jobs at Iberia, which equates to a little under a quarter of the total workforce. Commenting on the BA workers’ show of support, Oliver Richardson, the national officer for the Unite union, said, ‘BA staff are going to be showing their dignified and peaceful support for their colleagues at Iberia.

‘The Spanish workers are defending their jobs and their airline from an unacceptable attack. BA cabin crew know only too well the pain and the struggle the Spanish workforce are having to endure. The situation at Iberia bears an uncanny resemblance to the British Airways cabin crew dispute during the spring and early summer of 2010. Even the language being used by IAG is almost identical to the rhetoric of that dispute.

‘Cabin crew here in the UK are at a loss to understand why the senior management team at IAG is allowing history to repeat itself.

‘IAG should learn the lessons of the BA cabin crew dispute and take the short-cut to the negotiating table and avoid this unnecessary conflict.’