Spanish unions announce 22-day strike plan for airport employees

10:37, March 09, 2011      

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Three Spanish labor unions announced Tuesday that they have assigned 22 strike days for airport employees in 2011.

The walkouts, according to the schedule formulated by Union General de Trabajadores, Comisiones Obreras and Union Sindical Obrero, are timed at the moments of maximum activity at Spain's airports.

For example, the first five days of strike are slated for Easter, creating a sure recipe for chaos at the airports at a peak travel moment in the year.

The strike plan, which covers some 11,000 workers at the country's 47 airports, was designed to protest the government's plans to partially privatize Aeropuertos Espanoles and Navigacion Aerea (AENA), the company that controls Spain's airports.

The call for strikes casts a thick cloud on the Spanish tourism industry, which is expecting a good year thanks to the recovery from the economic crisis.

AENA insisted that the company will work hard to ensure that the strikes will not happen. "There is total will to negotiate," a company spokesman told Spain's RTVE TV.

Meanwhile, the unions said that they are confident that there is "sufficient" time to avoid the strikes.

The strike plan came after Spanish air-traffic controllers staged a strike without warning in December, which stranded around 400,000 travellers.

The grim situation prompted the government to declare a "state of alarm" and mobilize military units to assist airport operations.

Source: Xinhua

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