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18 MARCH 2013

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Article from BTNews 18 MARCH 2013

Iberia strike off

Workers at Iberia last week called off further strikes over job and salary cuts at the loss-making Spanish airline after accepting a deal from a government-appointed mediator.

Two five-day walkouts in February and March were said by International Airlines Group (IAG), Iberia’s owner, to have cost €30m plus considerable goodwill.

"It's time to pull together and look to the future and to apologise to all our customers for the inconvenience caused over the last few weeks", said Iberia Chief Executive Rafael Sanchez-Lozano.

Iberia says it needs to restructure to meet tough competition in a depressed Spanish economy from low-cost rivals.  IAG has accepted proposals from an agreed mediator to shed 3,141 jobs instead of the 3,807 it planned and to soften pay cuts.  Spain's unemployment level is now 26%. 

Pilots' union Sepla did not agree to the new terms, though the restructuring plan will still go ahead because it was backed by ground and cabin crew unions. www.iberia.com

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