By Chris King •
Updated: 02 Jun 2023 • 20:59
Image of Air Nostrum aircraft.
The pilot strike at Air Nostrum has escalated into full-blown indefinite industrial action across Spain.
As announced this evening, Friday, June 2, by Sepla, the Spanish Union of Air Line Pilots, the current Monday and Friday strikes will now become daily and affect all bases and workplaces used by the Spanish airline across the country, according to lasprovincias.es.
Air Nostrum pilots have been seeking a resolution to their labour dispute since first taking action on February 27. As explained by Sepla in a statement, today’s decision is a ‘difficult step’, made after verifying how the company has refused to look at resolving the problem.
The company has been: “rejecting the legitimate labour and salary demands from the workers”, insisted the union. They highlighted the ‘obstructionist’ attitude of the Valencian airline which has resulted in a minimum scheduling of company meetings with the pilots since the indefinite strike began.
In its own statement, the airline said it regretted ‘the radicalisation’ of the strike after Sepla refused to accept arbitration at the meeting held on May 26.
This was a measure with which the airline said it had intended to seek an agreement aimed at ending: “some strikes that are causing serious harm to passengers”.
Company sources explained that their offer of a salary increase in the next three years had been reiterated to the union.
Their offer allegedly included figures that are: ‘in the upper band of what is being negotiated in most of the collective agreements in the country and exceeds what the unions and employers recently approved (4 per cent in 2023, 3 per cent in 2024 and 3 per cent in 2025), and what was agreed in the recent agreement signed with the office collective’.
In addition to ‘business immobility’, Sepla also lamented the current ‘abusive imposition’ of minimum services by the central government which it insisted caused the strikes to have ‘no effect’.
‘This application of minimum services, unprecedented in most countries in Europe, favours the company, which has no interest in resolving the conflict”, said the union.
“In this way, the Ministry of Transport favours business interests and harms workers and passengers, generating greater uncertainty and chronifying a labour dispute that would have to be resolved more quickly”, it claimed.
Sepla recalled that the National Court Prosecutor’s Office had sided with the pilots in challenging the minimum services set by the ministry in the strike that began at the end of February by stating that this application violated the right to strike.
The Valencian airline operates 59 destinations in eight European and North African countries and has a fleet of 46 aircraft.
Last year, according to Aena’s statistical data, Air Nostrum accounted for 7.48 million passengers and 116,478 flights. It has a staff of 1,500 employees.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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