Workers at Spain’s Iberia airline step up strike action

Unions at Spain’s flagship airline Iberia began a second week of strikes, with 1,300 flights canceled and most passengers re-assigned to other flights, CNN informs. Iberia and three smaller airlines that it provides with ground services – Iberia Express, Vueling and Air Nostrum – have been impacted by the action, an Iberia spokesman said. Cabin crews, pilots and ground staff are protesting Iberia’s plans for 3,800 layoffs, about 19 percent of the staff, and salary cuts for the remaining workers. Iberia, which merged with British Airlines in 2011, has been trying to reduce its losses, which exceeded USD 350 million last year. The strike began February 18, running from Monday to Friday, and Iberia said it lost about USD 19 million that week. It expects to lose another USD 19 million during the second week of industrial action. A third week of strike is set to start on March 18. Iberia says it has relocated 38,000 passengers to other flights this week, and is issuing refunds for another 2,000 passengers affected by the disruption.

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