On Monday January 30th, some 160 air traffic controllers at 16 airports across Spain went on strike. The strike will take place on four more consecutive Mondays (February 6, 13, 20 and 27) and will involve all professionals who work shifts that start between 00:00 and 24:00 on those days. Traffic control towers have been privatized.
The Ministry of Transport has set minimum services depending on the type of route, which reaches 100% for emergency flights, transfer of citizens or foreigners guarded by police officers or transport of universal postal mail or perishable products.
As explained in a joint statement, USCA and CCOO unions criticize especially the attitude of private company Saerco, which they see as “contrary to achieve any kind of agreement”. It has “hindered the union proposals from the first moment”. Meanwhile, the unions have said that with FerroNATS, the other private company involved, they have reached “significant points in common”.
FerroNATS has added that it has been unable to reach a consensus on a proposal with Saerco given that their positions are “far apart” with respect to what the unions request. FerroNATS has accepted some of the requests of the unions, such as incorporating in the agreement the concepts included in the center agreements already enjoyed by its controllers, extending it to the rest of the towers.
It also accepts the request of the social side regarding vacations according to a scheme of 22 working days plus 14 holidays, explains FerroNATS itself, which says it is willing to continue negotiating the proposed salary increase above that offered in previous offers from the employers.
FerroNATS insists that its objective is to prevent disruptions to the end user. They are committed to “guaranteeing adequate minimum services” to mitigate any impact on the activity it provides at the various Spanish airports.
The industrial action, promoted by the unions USCA and CCOO as negotiators of the new collective bargaining agreement, is aimed at the 160 professionals who provide control services in the towers of the airports of:
- A Coruña
- Cuatro Vientos
- El Hierro
- La Palma