MADRID – 517 workers at the Madrid base of the budget airline Iberia Express have been called on to a ten-day strike by the USO union, from 28 August to 6 September.
The Spanish trade union USO has called its affiliated employees to ten days of strike, from 28 August to 6 September. The airline, for its part, has expressed its ‘total incomprehension’ at this call, which also has no support from another union CCOO. The airline says it has tried ‘by all means’ to reach an agreement ‘favourable’ to the crew members.
According to the union, the reason for the strike, called for 517 workers, is to unblock negotiations on the airline’s collective bargaining agreement.
‘The company has shown no interest in improving the working conditions of staff since December 2021, when negotiations began, opposing every union proposal and offering alternatives that are far from reality,’ USO lamented. The union is demanding an annual wage revision according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the duration of the agreement to bring wages in line with price increases, as crew wages have been frozen for seven years.
The union is also demanding the consolidation of the 6.5% wage increase for 2021 for all levels; the introduction of two wage levels with an increase of 11% and 4%, a 24-month seniority bonus for all workers in the labour collective and the standardisation of the transport allowance and the on-board sales commission for all flight attendants.
Misunderstanding and calls for termination
In a statement, the airline expressed its ‘total lack of understanding’ for the call which comes at a time when consultations between Iberia Express and cabin crew unions have intensified to move forward in the negotiations of the second collective bargaining agreement.
The company says it has tried ‘by all means’ to reach an agreement ‘favourable’ to crew members, but the USO has increased its ‘demands’, which it has been unable to meet because they are ‘disproportionate’.
Iberia Express stresses that the agreement signed with the CCOO has resulted not only in wage improvements to cope with rising inflation and new higher levels of work among TCP and cabin crew, but also in other benefits related to days off and reduced working hours.
Iberia Express therefore calls on the USO to end the strike, abide by the agreement reached with the CCOO to improve working conditions and wages, and continue negotiations on the second agreement.
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