Ground Workers Strike Over Job, Pay Cuts In Spain

We were out yesterday on account of President’s Day. But what a lousy way to spend a day off. First, sitting in a dentist’s chair at 8 a.m. with my jaws wrenched open followed later that afternoon sitting in a lawyer’s office for two hours with at least one jaw continually hitting the ground.

Good thing we didn’t have a ticket to fly on Spain’s flag carrier, Iberia. Yesterday began 15 days of strikes for this month and next. Monday’s protest also turned violent when police and striking ground workers and flight attendants clashed with police inside the Madrid-Barajas Airport. A total of 70,000 Iberia passengers are expected to be affected by the strike this week. The airline’s pilots are expected to join the strikes next month, too.

At stake are not just more than 3,000 proposed job cuts, but pay cuts of 23 percent for those left behind to continue with their work, which sounds only marginally better considering the original plan called for cutting 4,500 jobs and cutting pay by 35 percent. A tough set of circumstances, however, either way. You can read more on the matter here.

Much of the turmoil springs from the 2010 merger between Iberia and British Airways. Last week, of course, American and US Airways finally got together in an $11 billion deal. In this week’s e-newsletter we have an article concerning what the merger will mean for hub operations around the country. As luck would have it, one of our favorite bloggers has also chimed in what he thinks will happen to the hubs