IAG accepts mediator proposal to end Iberia strike

11th March 2013, Comments 0 comments

International Airlines Group says it has accepted a mediator's compromise proposal to end a strike by workers at Spanish airline Iberia in protest against plans to slash jobs and cut salaries following its merger with British Airways.

Unions representing Iberia workers were due to meet with the mediator later on Monday to give their response to the proposal.

The government-appointed mediator proposed that loss-making Iberia lay off 3,100 workers instead of the 3,800 the airline had planned to let go and to limit salary cuts to 7.0 percent for ground crew and to 14 percent for cabin crew. Iberia had been proposing salary cuts of 11-23 percent.

"The board of International Airlines Group has met today in an extraordinary session to analyse and assess the proposal issued by a mediator regarding Iberia. As a result, the board has decided to accept the proposal," the company said in a statement late on Sunday.

International Airlines Group is the holding company set up for Iberia and British Airways after the two airlines merged in 2011.

Iberia ground and flight staff wrapped up a second five-day strike on Friday against the planned job cuts and salary reductions which forced the cancellation of nearly 1,400 flights.

Iberia workers carried out the first of their three five-day strikes last month and plan another from March 18 to 22. A minimum service operates during the strike under Spanish law.

Unions have threatened to stage an open-ended strike unless Iberia backs down on its plans.

Iberia executives say the airline accumulated 850 million euros in losses between 2008 and September 2012.

To stem the company's losses by mid-2013, the Spanish airline plans to slash its network capacity by 15 percent and downsize its fleet by 25 aircraft, including five long-haul jets.

© 2013 AFP

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