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Iberia strike causes flight delays and cancellations

<p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Madrid -- Iberia staff is set to go on strike for the duration of five days. The strike began at midnight and already, it is causing major disruptions in Spanish air traffic. Hundreds of flights have been cancelled so far. Today&#39;s strike alone will cause disruption for 70,000 passengers.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">According to the unions, Iberia&#39;s employees will refuse to work in phases of five days at a time, for a total of fifteen days. This week represents the first in this series of strikes. Baggage handling staff will also join in the strike, meaning Iberia will not be the only airline affected. Other Spanish airports will also be able to operate fewer flights.</p> <p><img alt="staking Iberia" class="img-responsive" src="/uploads/2013/3/staking Iberia.jpeg" style="text-align: justify;" /></p> <h2 style="text-align: justify;">Flights delayed and cancelled</h2> <p style="text-align: justify;">So far, hundreds of Iberia flights scheduled for this week have already been cancelled. Some passengers have been booked on other flights, while others will simply be reimbursed for their ticket. Due to the baggage handling staff&#39;s participation in the strike, passengers of other airlines should also expect possible delays or even cancellations.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>All of Iberia&#39;s strikes:</strong></p> <ul> <li style="text-align: justify;">initial strike: February 18 through 24 (please note that hundreds of Iberia flights have already been cancelled)</li> <li style="text-align: justify;">second strike: March 4 through&nbsp;8</li> <li style="text-align: justify;">third strike: March&nbsp;18 through&nbsp;22</li> </ul> <p style="text-align: justify;">If you are scheduled to fly this week, you are advised to contact Iberia and check current flight data regularly. If your flight is cancelled or delayed due to a strike, you will not be entitled to receive compensation in most cases. However, if your&nbsp;flight is cancelled&nbsp;or delayed outside of the timeframes listed above, it may well be worth <a href="https://www.flight-delayed.co.uk/submit-claim" target="_self">filing a claim for compensation</a>.</p> <h2 style="text-align: justify;">Unions</h2> <p style="text-align: justify;">IAG, Iberia&#39;s parents company, announced major possible layoffs earlier this month. The unions, fiercely opposed to the layoffs, decided to initiate the strikes. Earlier, the unions threatened to go on strike during the Christmas holidays, before reaching a temporary agreement with the other parties.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">However, the unions have failed to come to a definitive accord with the company since, and negotiations have come to a halt. The latest proposal, in which ground staff would be forced to surrender 11 percent of their wages and pilots and cabin crew 23 percent was rejected by the trade unions.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Last week, Iberia presented their plan for redundancies to the Spanish unions. The airline is intending on firing 3,807 of its employees. This would come down to one in five employees having to leave the company.</p> <h2 style="text-align: justify;">Spanish economy</h2> <p style="text-align: justify;">According to parent company IAG, the layoffs are necessary due to the fact that Iberia is facing losses of hundreds of millions of euros. Cutting back on expenses should save the airline 600 million euros in the next three years. However, the strikes and subsequent flight cancellations are having a huge impact on the Spanish economy. The strikes are a major liability for already the flailing country. Ana Pastor, Spain&#39;s Secretary of Transport, has begged the trade unions not to go through with the strike, to no avail. Fearing damage to the Spanish economy, she encouraged the opposing parties to reach a settlement. &quot;We cannot allow Spain to lose over 10 million euros a day. Such a blow would affect us all,&quot; said the&nbsp;Secretary of Transport. What particularly inconvenient is that the strike will take place during the official British school holidays. Britain is the main supplier of tourism to Spain. The cancellation of flights will mean many travellers will not be able to reach their holiday destination.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Written by: Team <a href="https://www.flight-delayed.co.uk/" target="_self">Flight-Delayed</a></strong></p>