File photograph of an Air Nostrum aircraft / SUR

Spanish airline pilots call eight days of strike action over Christmas

A union representing pilots at Air Nostrum, a subsidiary of Iberia, has announced eight days of industrial action over pay demands

Pilar Martínez
PILAR MARTÍNEZ MALAGA.

Pilots at Air Nostrum, a subsidiary of the Spanish airline Iberia, have announced eight days of strike action over the Christmas period.

The Sepla union has warned that the 24-hour strikes will affect all the bases of the airline company and flights will be hit by the industrial action on December 22, 23, 26, 27, 29 and 30 and January 2 and 3, 2023.

Sepla, which claims to represent more than 70% of the pilots affected by the dispute, points out the main reason for these days of strike action is the block caused by Air Nostrum in the negotiation of the new collective agreement, "by maintaining an immovable position on fundamental aspects of working conditions and salary demands".

Union conveners said that they have already submitted up to three proposals for a salary revision, explaining the need to increase wages and that the company "has not only remained unmovable for the years 2022 and 2023, with 0% and 3%, respectively, but rather intends to subtract from the said 3% any progress or improvement, without the possibility of any negotiation”.

Air Nostrum said it regrets the call for strikes and declared that the protest was called after an agreement was not reached following the failure of arbitration and mediation talks held in Madrid last Wednesday.

The company believes that, under the current circumstances, a strike of this nature will be particularly unfortunate. "The mere announcement of a strike will generate significant economic damage to the company and the measure does not correspond at all with the point at which the negotiations between the two parties are currently at," advising that the process has already begun so that the Ministry of Public Works can dictate the minimum level of services of which passengers and the media will be duly informed.