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Spain: Iberia workers out in force to protest job cuts00:41

Spain: Iberia workers out in force to protest job cuts

Spain, Madrid
February 18, 2013 at 21:51 GMT +00:00 · Published

: Five Iberia Airline workers were arrested Monday during the first day of a strike in Madrid, Spain, launched to protest pending layoffs and wage cuts. The arrested employees were accused of making threats and resisting arrest by police officers.

Union workers had gathered outside Iberia's hub, Madrid's Barajas airport, where they chanted, whistled and carried banners. Police blocked access to a terminal building, as tensions between the protesters and police increased as more people joined the strikers. Iberia has been forced to cancel over 400 flights this week due to the strike-action.

Said Dimitris Bountolos, head of coordination & hub at Iberia Airlines: "The current situation is unstable one; the operation has been running according to the contingency plan."

The strikers' anger was aimed mainly at the UK, since Air Iberia had merged with British Airways in January 2011. The merged company - the International Airlines Group - later reported losses of more than 300 million US dollars in 2012.

The five-day strike by unions comes at a time when Iberia is planning to cancel more than 1,200 flights starting next Monday, which will lead to more than 3,000 workers being laid off.

Further strike action is planned for March.

Spain: Iberia workers out in force to protest job cuts00:41
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Description

: Five Iberia Airline workers were arrested Monday during the first day of a strike in Madrid, Spain, launched to protest pending layoffs and wage cuts. The arrested employees were accused of making threats and resisting arrest by police officers.

Union workers had gathered outside Iberia's hub, Madrid's Barajas airport, where they chanted, whistled and carried banners. Police blocked access to a terminal building, as tensions between the protesters and police increased as more people joined the strikers. Iberia has been forced to cancel over 400 flights this week due to the strike-action.

Said Dimitris Bountolos, head of coordination & hub at Iberia Airlines: "The current situation is unstable one; the operation has been running according to the contingency plan."

The strikers' anger was aimed mainly at the UK, since Air Iberia had merged with British Airways in January 2011. The merged company - the International Airlines Group - later reported losses of more than 300 million US dollars in 2012.

The five-day strike by unions comes at a time when Iberia is planning to cancel more than 1,200 flights starting next Monday, which will lead to more than 3,000 workers being laid off.

Further strike action is planned for March.

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