AIR­PORT STRIKE THREAT

Ali­cante faces dou­ble trou­ble as unions call in­dus­trial ac­tion

Costa Blanca News (North Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - By Dave Jones djones@cb­news.es

Pri­vate se­cu­rity staff at both Ali­cante-Elche and Va­len­cia air­ports could carry out in­dus­trial ac­tion de­pend­ing on the out­come of the Barcelona air­port con­flict this week­end.

Mean­while, unions have called strikes through­out au­tumn at all Span­ish air­ports.

TWO DIF­FER­ENT strikes are set to hit Ali­cante-Elche air­port as unions take on the gov­ern­ment over pay and work­ing con­di­tions.

Three trade unions - CCOO, UGT and USO – rep­re­sent­ing work­ers for state air­port com­pany AENA and state air traf­fic con­trol com­pany Enaire have called 25 days of stop­pages start­ing next month and run­ning un­til Christ­mas.

They no­ti­fied the com­mis­sion for ar­bi­tra­tion and con­cil­i­a­tion this week that 24-hour strikes will take place on Septem­ber 15, 17, 22, 24 and 29; Oc­to­ber 1, 6, 11, 15, 27, 30 and 31; Novem­ber 3 and 5; and De­cem­ber 1,4,5, 7, 8, 10, 26, 27, 28, 29 and 30.

Ac­cord­ing to state news agency EFE, the strikes will af­fect air­port fire ser­vices, run­way man­age­ment per­son­nel, se­cu­rity and com­puter ser­vices, con­trol tower main­te­nance, bag­gage carousels and air­port car park op­er­a­tions, along with other sec­tors.

A spokesman for the UGT said they had not re­ceived a re­ply from the gov­ern­ment to their de­mands over im­prove­ments to their terms and con­di­tions.

He said that they are ask­ing for work­ers to be able to share in the ‘ ex­tra­or­di­nary’ prof­its made by AENA and Enaire, ‘bear­ing in mind that em­ploy­ees have lost 8% of their pur­chas­ing power in re­cent years’.

They are also ask­ing for 450 ad­di­tional work­ers to be taken on by AENA and 250 by Enaire in or­der to guar­an­tee that air­ports can op­er­ate safely with the in­creas­ing num­ber of flights which are be­ing sched­uled due to the tourism boom.

How­ever, the spokesman re­mained up­beat over the pos­si­bil­ity of reach­ing an agree­ment when a meet­ing is held with sec­re­tary of state for trans­port and in­fra­struc­ture Julio Gómez-Po­mar on Au­gust 31.

Po­ten­tial strikes would af­fect all air­ports op­er­ated by AENA, which in­clude Ali­can­teElche and Mur­cia-San Javier.

At the same time, the UGT an­nounced that they are set to call a se­cu­rity staff strike at Ali­cante-Elche air­port and Va­len­cia’s Manises af­ter the gov­ern­ment said on Wed­nes­day that it would im­pose a mediator to re­solve the stop­pages at Barcelona’s El Prat air­port.

This would af­fect em­ploy­ees work­ing for pri­vate con­trac­tor Prose­gur.

The gov­ern­ment has sent in the Guardia Civil to keep dis- rup­tion to a min­i­mum in Barcelona.

In this dis­pute unions have called for a sin­gle pro­ce­dure for tak­ing on new staff to be es­tab­lished ‘to avoid pi­rate com­pa­nies from re­duc­ing salaries and work­ers’ rights’.

UGT boss Saturnino Martínez said the gov­ern­ment had to leg­is­late to pre­vent very low bids from be­ing sub­mit­ted for pub­lic con­tracts which re­sult in the busi­nesses not be­ing able to pay the work­ers a proper salary.

As Costa Blanca News went to press, the gov­ern­ment an­nounced that it will cre­ate a work­ing group made up of unions and com­pany rep­re­sen­ta­tives to cre­ate one set of work­ing con­di­tions for all se­cu­rity com­pa­nies which op­er­ate in the air­port sec­tor.

As Costa Blanca News went to press, the gov­ern­ment an­nounced that it will cre­ate a work­ing group made up of unions and com­pany rep­re­sen­ta­tives to cre­ate one set of work­ing con­di­tions for all se­cu­rity com­pa­nies which op­er­ate in the air­port sec­tor.

Unions re­sponded by say­ing they would tem­po­rar­ily sus­pend se­cu­rity staff strike ac­tion. How­ever, if talks ‘ do not lead to ad­vances’ in­dus­trial ac­tion will go ahead.

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