The last attempt to reach an agreement and avoid a strike in Iberia’s handling service has not served to avoid stoppages. The last meeting ended this Thursday without consensus and the unions maintain the call for this January 5, 6, 7 and 8, as confirmed by union and company sources.
The strike of the ground service – the baggage service – has led to the cancellation of 444 Iberia flights affecting more than 45,000 travelers, of whom Iberia claims it has replaced or refunded the amount of the tickets to more than 90%. But the ground service will also have an impact on other airlines, which the company provides service to, so the impact on the airports will be evident on key tourist dates.
The unions UGT, CCOO, USO and the Intercenter Committee have called for these mobilizations, coinciding with the Three Kings holiday and the return of the Christmas holidays, after Iberia lost its handling operator license at eight of the large airports, such as result of the latest Aena contest. Among those that have been lost are, for example, the Prat in Barcelona and Palma.
The employees of the airports where the license is lost have to go to the new successful companies – be subrogated – and the unions fear a loss of labor rights.
For this reason, they demand that Iberia commit to ‘autohandling’ – which consists of the company providing the luggage service to itself – which would mean maintaining the workforce under its umbrella, something that the IAG group company does not see as viable. .
This is the third strike call after the Aena competition, although the first two did not take place. The initial two, scheduled for the December long weekend and the beginning of Christmas, were canceled with the commitment to continue negotiating. Negotiations that now, on the eve of Epiphany, have not come to fruition.
The flights affected
The company announced last Friday the cancellation of 444 flights. Of these, 270 corresponded to Iberia itself, another 64 from Iberia Express and 110 from Air Nostrum. Of Iberia’s flights, 51% of the canceled flights are domestic and the other 49% correspond to European destinations.
In this list you can consult the flights canceled by the airline.
On Wednesday, after the negotiations also failed to bear fruit, the company indicated that 92% of the affected passengers have been relocated to other dates and times or have been refunded the amount of the ticket. Changes, which can still be made, must be made on the Iberia website or, if you have contracted with a travel agency, through them. Also in the company’s Customer Service Center, but it recognizes that the waiting time there may be longer than usual.