By Wendy Williams
UP to two million passengers – including around 300,000 British holidaymakers – are facing travel chaos if air traffic controllers go ahead with a threatened strike in Spain.
The controllers are due to strike after their employment contracts were changed, increasing their working hours and cutting back on breaks.
In a ballot held this week, over 90 per cent voted in favour of industrial action.
The exact dates of the strike are yet to be confirmed but it is likely it will take place on Wednesday August 18, for at least three days.
This latest action comes after the Spanish government cut wages by 40 per cent in February this year, when it was revealed some controllers were earning as much as 850,000 euros.
In comparison, air traffic controllers in the UK only earn 65-90,000 euros a year.
According to transport minister José Blanco, air traffic controllers have long enjoyed “a privileged position” and the strike “lacked justification”.
The government even threatened to bring in the military if the strike takes place.
But, it comes at the height of Spain’s summer tourism season leaving up to two million passengers facing delays, cancellations or the possibility of being stranded at home or in Spain.
For a country where the tourism industry accounts for 11 per cent of the economy, this could have big economic repercussions.
If the strike goes ahead, it will be the first legal stoppage the industry in Spain has seen.