Anti-British chants at Spain’s airports during Iberia strikes

Violent anti-British clashes broke out at Spanish airports last week with hundreds of protesters being charged by police.

Riot police were drafted in as protesters waved Spanish flags and banners saying ‘British go home’ and ‘No layoffs in Iberia, stop the British colonisation’.

The Spanish airline merged with British Airways in 2011 to form the International Airlines Group(IAG).

Unions for Iberia staff have launched a scathing attack on Willie Walsh, CEO of Iberia’s parent IAG, as the first round of strikes ended. The International Transport Workers’ Federation said Walsh has turned not just the entire airline against him but possibly an entire country.

Speaking from the International Labour Organisation aviation global dialogue forum in Geneva, ITF civil aviation secretary Gabriel Mocho said, ‘As a strike this is undoubtedly a success, but it’s a strike Iberia’s workers didn’t want. Both the airline and the unions were working on a plan that would safeguard jobs and profitability. Its failure can be laid at Willie Walsh’s door. 

Iberia workers, including baggage handlers and cabin crew, were protesting inside Madrid Barajas airport and at other Spanish airports over job cuts. Staff are protesting again the loss of 4,500 jobs and salary cuts. 

Five days of strikes last week  affected 70,000 passengers.

Further strikes are planned for March 4 to 8 and March 18 to 22. 

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