The Spanish Airline Pilots Union (Sepla) has called a strike at Air Europa, recently bought by Iberia, part of the IAG group, although the operation is pending authorisation from the European Commission, for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th of May at all bases and work centres in Spain due to “the unacceptable demands of management regarding the transfer of legitimate labour rights of this group”.
Thus, the Sepla today specified the schedule of the strike, which coincides with the May bank holiday, after reporting yesterday the start of the procedures for its call for dates to be determined in May and June, in response to “the lack of interest” of Air Europa to reach an agreement to resolve the labour dispute after the mediation promoted by the Interconfederal Service of Mediation and Arbitration (SIMA) at the request of the company.
The measure responds to “the tension and labour conflict generated by Air Europa managers, playing with the rights of workers, disguising as proposals what amounts to a real loss of labour rights acquired in the IV Collective Agreement”, the union has clarified in a statement.
The pilots, who denounce that giving in to pressure from the company would have meant worse working conditions and salaries in the short and medium term, “feel discriminated against by the company”, as they are the only group of workers affected by the way the airline has acted in the various negotiations it has held on salary revisions.
For Sepla it is “discouraging” to see how, in a last chance to avoid strike action with the mediation of SIMA, “the airline’s managers have opted for confrontation instead of negotiation, threatening and disqualifying the pilots instead of seeking a point of understanding between the two sides, as was the wish of the technical crew members”.
The organisation has recalled that the pilots have demonstrated their commitment to the future of the company, as seen in the ERTE during the pandemic, with the high personal cost for these professionals.
In addition, the pilots point out that they have demonstrated their responsibility to social peace, as shown by the fact that the last strike call was in 2011.
Sepla stresses that the pilots will not allow a company management that “seeks to profit at all costs” against users, raising airline tickets by more than 54% in the last year, and workers, with arbitrary impositions and cutting working conditions.