In a brief announcement IAG Cago, the amalgamation of British Airways and Iberia Airways, has said it will implement a contingency plan to minimize the impact of an upcoming Iberia strike on its customers.
Unions for Iberia's workers announced last week that their strikes will take place Feb. 18-22, March 4-8, and March 18-22.
“The airline is awaiting details from the Spanish government about the minimum number of flights that will be operated on strike days,” according to the statement on the IAG Cargo Website. “IAG Cargo will work to find alternatives for air shipments that may be affected by the Iberia strike.”
The strike came out of IAG’s previously announced transformation plan for Iberia, which was released in November. The plan called for a capacity reduction of 15 percent, a fleet downsizing of 25 planes, and the reduction of 4,500 jobs.
IAG officials and representatives from Iberia’s unions had been in negotiations before the strike was announced. According to the International Transport Workers’ Federation, IAG never really engaged the unions during these talks. The ITF’s civil aviation secretary, Gabriel Mocho, lays all the blame at the feet of Willie Walsh, IAG’s chief executive officer.
“The fingerprints of Willie Walsh are visible in the breakdown in talks that led to this declaration. Orders from above have clearly denied Iberia the freedom to achieve a joint negotiated plan with unions to secure a profitable future for the airline,” he said in a statement. “That insistence on massive cost cutting and job cuts doomed the talks, leaving the unions no recourse except industrial action — a stance that seems to have widespread support at all levels in Spain.” - Jon Ross