PM calls on unionists to mull airport upset

1st August 2006, Comments 0 comments

1 August 2006, PALMA – The Spanish socialist prime minister has called on unionists to reflect on what he classified the "intolerable" behaviour of Iberia workers at Barcelona airport.

1 August 2006

PALMA – The Spanish socialist prime minister has called on unionists to reflect on what he classified the "intolerable" behaviour of Iberia workers at Barcelona airport.

Jose Rodriguez Zapatero made his comments on Monday evening in Palma de Majorca after the traditional summer meeting with the king.

He said workers had a right to strike but "taking the demand in hand and invading a runway at an airport is incomprehensible and unacceptable".

"The unions are the first who are going to make this reflection", he said. He added that he hoped those who had occupied El Prat runway on Friday were "deeply repentant".

The occupying of the runways for more than eight hours on Friday brought El Prat to a standstill and caused knock-on delays in the days afterwards.

According to a report in El Pais newspaper on Tuesday, at around 10.30am on Friday there were around 30 planes circling above Barcelona because they could not land.

Traffic controllers diverted the planes to nearby airports Girona and Reus, Barajas in Madrid, Palma and Valencia.

However, some planes had to be diverted to other countries, including the airports Toulouse and Perpignan in France.

Zapatero defended the government’s role in the saga, stating it had ensured airport management company Aena brought in more staff in the days after the crisis and scheduled more flights.

A judge is investigating complaints made during the crisis, particularly serious charges that some passengers were kept against their will in planes as the Iberia ground staff occupied the runways.

The dispute was over the loss of Iberia’s baggage handling licence and was resolved by an agreement between Iberia and Aena.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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