GROUND handlers for Iberia are set to stage an eight-week walkout this autumn in protest at the national airline’s suspension of negotiations with unions. 

The Union General de Trabajadores (UGT) has called for strikes every Monday from September 30 until November 18. 

The nationwide strikes come off the back of August strikes that took place at airports in Madrid, Barcelona, Malaga and Bilbao and led to the cancellation of hundreds of flights.

DELAYS: Passengers at Malaga airport

The Iberia management suspended negotiations following the summer round of strikes, saying that it ‘cannot continue negotiating in good faith, subject to the blackmail of strikes’.

The UGT has called on all its members who work for Iberia to join the strike, as well as members of Iberia’s workforce who belong to different unions. 

Iberia has around 13,000 ground handlers across Spanish airports.

These include airport personnel such as baggage handlers, mechanics in charge of aircraft maintenance and service staff.

The UGT argues previous terms it signed with Iberia were agreed to on the basis of ensuring the sustainability of the airline.

The agreement involved the union accepting concessions on wages and working conditions. 

The union says that Iberia’s fortunes have since reversed and the company now has record profits and a high volume of work.

It wants better conditions for workers, to reflect the airliner’s improved trading position.

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