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Iberia workers tentatively plan to strike in December disrupting holiday travel

Skift Take

Strikes held during the holidays become highly visible and attract media attention, but rarely increase the general public’s support due to delays and cancellations.

— Samantha Shankman

British travellers could face disruption next month after workers at Iberia, the Spanish flag carrier, announced plans to go on strike.

A union representative said industrial action was being considered during the December holiday season, in protest against extensive job cuts.

“All of the unions are in intense talks to fix dates for action against the plan to dismantle Iberia,” a spokesman for Spain’s second-biggest union UGT said. “We’re not willing to accept sacrifices that only lead to breaking Iberia apart. We want to negotiate a viability plan that contemplates growth at Iberia and not just shutting down routes.”

He added that strikes could take place between December 14 and December 21.

Iberia is part of International Airlines Group, which also owns British Airways.

Earlier this month IAG said it would cut around a quarter of Iberia’s workforce as part of plans to reduce capacity and make the airline more competitive.

The Spanish airline posted a loss of 262 m during the first nine months of the year, almost wiping out the 286 m profit made by British Airways during the same period.

Staff at Iberia have already threatened industrial action several times this year – pilots walked out in April, forcing the cancellation of hundreds of flights, while another strike planned for the following month was averted.

Iberia currently flies from the UK to dozens of destinations around the world, including Alicante, Barcelona, Madrid, Bilbao, Malaga and Majorca, and is often used by British travellers visiting Latin America.

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