Spanish air traffic controllers at privatised towers continue their strike

by Lorraine Williamson
air traffic controllers strike

MADRID – The strike by air traffic controllers at privatised towers is ongoing in June. This month, the air traffic controllers at 16 Spanish airports with privatised control towers will remain on strike. 

The strike affects 160 air traffic controllers at the following airports;

  • La Coruña
  • Alicante
  • Castellón
  • Cuatro Vientos
  • El Hierro
  • Fuerteventura
  • Ibiza
  • Jerez
  • Lanzarote
  • La Palma
  • Lleida
  • Murcia
  • Sabadell
  • Seville
  • Valencia
  • Vigo

Together, they account for 28.5% of flights in Spain. 

The air traffic controllers continue to support the new strike called by the USCA and CCOO unions. No progress has been made in the negotiations with the private suppliers, Saerco and Skyway, formerly known as FerroNATS (a joint venture of Ferrovial and a UK supplier). 

USCA reports that an agreement has been reached with Skyway in the negotiations for the new collective agreement. However, Saerco, which has faced criticism from employees and unions multiple times, refuses to accept any agreement or propose an alternative. 

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USCA states that there is “no other solution than to continue with the strike” to break the deadlock in the collective bargaining negotiations with the private suppliers’ employer association. The new strike will affect all services between 00:00 and 24:00 from June 12 to June 30, inclusive. 

The first strike was initiated at the end of January this year and took place on Mondays until February 27. Subsequently, due to the lack of progress in negotiations, new strikes were scheduled for March 7, 14, 21, and 29, from 4.00 pm to 7.00 pm. 

In April, the strikes were extended to Thursdays and Sundays, occurring on April 9, 13, 16, 20, 23, 27, and 30. Then, following the strikes in April, USCA and CCOO called for new strike days on all Saturdays in May, from 00:00 to 24:00. 

The air traffic controllers at the privatised control towers are demanding a fair collective bargaining agreement, which the employers refuse to negotiate. They are also protesting against the “abusive” minimum service that prevents them from exercising their right to strike. 

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