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Iberia Ground Staff to Strike on New Year

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Spain’s Iberia Airlines ground service workers have announced plans to strike on the New Year

Unions representing ground service workers at Iberia, owned by International Airlines Group (ICAG.L), announced their intention to strike over the New Year period at Spanish airports. The country’s major unions, UGT and CCOO, are planning a walkout from December 29 to January 1 and from January 4 to 7. While official paperwork has not yet been filed, a spokesperson for UGT has confirmed the strike plans.

The protest, initiated by ground service workers such as baggage handlers at Spanish commercial airports operated by state-controlled Aena, is in response to contracts signed with new service providers in September.

Joining the strike will be other colleagues, including counter staff unaffected by the new contracts, as confirmed by the spokesperson.

Aena’s decision to hire new contractors for services previously managed by Iberia in numerous airports has sparked discontent among unions. Despite assurances from the new suppliers to maintain existing workers and their working conditions, unions remain angered.

The impact of the strike is expected to extend beyond Iberia, affecting other airlines as well. Iberia, currently contesting the new contracts in administrative courts, expressed strong disapproval of the strike in a Wednesday evening statement, deeming it “irresponsible” and stating that it “makes no sense.”

Also, the private security staff at Alicante-Elche airport will be going on a strike from December 15 to 17, 19 and December 22 to 31, with the walkouts expected to occur again next year – from January 1 to 14.

The workers plan strikes for two hours on these days, from 8.45 to 9.45 am and from 6 to 7 pm, and security controls and baggage handling can be impacted.

Air travel faced disruptions until Tuesday morning as the latest French air traffic control strike unfolded. EasyJet issued a caution, indicating that the strike, initiated at 7 pm local time on Sunday, would persist until 8 am on Tuesday, December 19.

The airline specifically highlighted the impact on flights to and from Paris, Lyon, Lille, and Brest, as well as those traversing French airspace. Anticipating delays and disruptions, EasyJet urged all passengers to monitor their flight status through the airline’s flight tracker.

Jet2.com also acknowledged the industrial action and expressed commitment to minimizing its impact on flights. Despite efforts, passengers were warned to anticipate potential disruptions and be prepared for extended wait times onboard during departure.

In response, the French civil aviation authority DGAC advised passengers traveling to or from affected airports to consider delaying their journeys if feasible. The series of French air traffic control strikes continues to pose challenges for airlines and passengers alike.

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