IBERIA walkouts are set to begin tomorrow as last-ditch talks to prevent Spain-wide strikes have failed. 

Photo: Cordon Press

Despite multiple attempts to reach an agreement, final talks held today, January 4, have not prevented Iberia staff from striking. 

According to trade union representatives, baggage handling staff will strike on January 5, 6, 7 and 8. 

The industrial action has led to 444 flights being cancelled, with over 45,000 passengers affected. 

Iberia states 90% of affected passengers have been given refunds or new flights. 

However the impact will not only be felt by those travelling with Iberia. 

The airline provides services to other airlines, meaning many passengers could still be affected. 

Some four trade unions have called for the strikes, strategically called over the weekend of the Three Kings celebrations, as people prepare to return to work after Christmas. 

As a result, the airline has lost its baggage handling contracts in eight major airports across Spain, including Barcelona’s El Prat. 

However, this means many workers will have to work as subcontractors.

Trade unions fear this could affect workers’ rights. 

They are now urging Iberia to bring baggage handling services under their own control, a move which parent company IAG, says is not viable. 

This is the third time strikes have been planned, but the first two did not actually take place. 

Of the 444 flights cancelled, only 270 are under Iberia, with a further 64 under Iberia Express and 110 under Air Nostrum. 

Some 51% are domestic flights, while 49% are European.

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