Iberia staff calls off disruptive holiday season strikes

Skift Take

The threat of a strike still exists for Iberia passengers, but it will have a much smaller impact on the airline and passengers when not scheduled for one of the busiest travel seasons of the year.

— Samantha Shankman

Industrial action by Iberia staff – which had threatened to disrupt the plans of thousands of Christmas travellers – has been called off.

Unions representing cabin crew and ground staff at the Spanish airline had planned a six-day walk-out between December 14 and 21 in protest against job cuts proposed by parent company International Airlines Group (IAG), which also owns British Airways.

However, no agreement has yet been reached between staff and IAG, meaning a fresh strike could be called in January.

“We’ve decided to call off the strike because of the dates and because we don’t want to harm passengers,” a spokesman for Union Sindical Obrera told Reuters. “Until January, depending on whether disagreements persist, we will study new actions.”

Last 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 €262m during the first nine months of the year, almost wiping out the €286m 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.

Meanwhile, cabin crew at Cathay Pacific are also considering strike action early next year in a dispute over pay.

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