The handling crisis continues. Iberia proposed this Monday a voluntary leave plan for 1,727 ground workers, around 20% of the company’s total handling services, and the creation of a new company to bring together the rest of the workers in this service. But the workers’ representatives have refused the proposal during a meeting of the Intercenter Committee (mainly composed of CCOO and UGT) held this Monday afternoon, as reported by union sources. In the next few hours it will be known if they implement any protest measures. From Iberia they affirm that the dialogue will continue this Tuesday.
The problem began at the end of September, when the airline lost the license to provide handling services to third parties in eight of the main airports of the country (Bilbao, Málaga, Alicante, Palma de Mallorca, Ibiza, Barcelona, Las Palmas and Tenerife South) for the next seven years. This means that some 4,000 people (of the total of 8,000, according to the company’s figures) would be surrogates That is, the new companies awarded these services would ‘hire’ them to carry out the same work as until now but in other companies. Half of these 4,000 workers are in Barcelona.
The handling workers, what are those task managers such as bring suitcases onto the plane or assistance to operations on the runway, affected by this loss of licenses They complained that this subrogation would be detrimental to their interests by ceasing to be part of a company like Iberia and began negotiations. protests which had their maximum expression with a strike at the airline during the Three Kings holiday. As a solution, the worker representatives proposed to the airline the creation of a new company that brings together the workers of those eight airports that have lost licenses to provide ‘autohandling’ services (the service to the group’s own companies).
But Iberia defends that the problem is not limited only to those eight airports, but extends to all because the handling business has “narrow margins” and needs “volume for its survival.” With this argument, the company proposed this Monday the creation of a new company -100% owned by the IAG group (‘holding’ of Iberia) -, but for all workersnot only for those affected by the loss of Aena licenses, something that both CCOO and UGT reject.
“This proposal implies that all workers leave Iberia. The problem before was 4,000 workers, but now it extends to everyone with this proposal. It is a worst case scenario than the one we had before the strike. And even above it can create a war between the workers of the eight affected airports and the rest,” explains the general secretary of the Air Sector and Tourist Services of the FSC of CCOO, Paloma Gallardo.
In the new company, the workers would have the same conditions that they currently have, “without any change. “In order to provide peace of mind to the company’s current employees, They would shield the progression and seniority systems of Iberia employees for life so that they maintain the same expectations they have today. Not a single one of the conditions of Iberia workers would be altered,” Iberia defends in a statement.
At the same time, the company also proposes a voluntary departure plan for 1,727 people until December 31, 2026 through lows incentivized for persons under 56 years of age at the time of termination of the contract or with pre-retirements for those older than that age. In the case of early retirement, from the moment of termination of the employment contract and until reaching the age of 65, the company would pay in 12 annual payments a supplement that would vary depending on the age at which such a measure was taken on the regulatory salary, that is, on the total of their gross annual earnings. Once these departures have been negotiated and agreed, the airline would carry out new hires to replace these workers.