Spanish unions to back new Iberia cost-cutting plan

Spanish unions to back new Iberia cost-cutting plan

Spanish unions have indicated they will back an independent mediator’s proposal to reduce job losses at loss-making Iberia.

The main unions representing the airline’s ground staff have reportedly agreed in principle to accept a compromise put forward by the Spanish government-appointed mediator to end strikes at Iberia. Proposals are due to be put to members at a union meeting today.

A final meeting between unions and the mediator, Gregorio Tudela, a professor at Madrid’s Autonomous University, is due to take place tomorrow.

Iberia owner International Airlines Group yesterday agreed to accept proposals put forward by the meditator to trim planned job cuts.

It recommends that the number of job losses in the restructuring of Iberia should fall from a planned 3,807, or just under a fifth of its workforce, to 3,141. The compromise would also offer a higher level of redundancy payment.

Unions have held two five-day strikes, at an estimated cost of €3 million a day, after talks over the restructuring plans broke down at the start of the year.

Unions were planning a third round of five days of strikes for later this month.

Spanish pilots union Sepla said that while it was considering the proposals, it would not do so without a clear commitment from the company to guarantee further cuts would not be made in the future.

“There needs to be a plan for the future, and to restore the flights and jobs that Iberia has lost,” a spokeswoman told the Financial Times. “If not, there is not much sense agreeing with them. A decision will be made this week or the next.”

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