The UGT and CCOO unions have called eight days of strike in Iberia, in the middle of Christmas, in protest because the company, they say, does not accept the creation of the “autohandling” (ground service provided by the company itself) in those airports where it lost the tender called by Aena.

Union sources said this Wednesday that the strikes would take place on the days December 29, 30 and 31 and January 1, 4, 5, 6 and 7coinciding with the critical dates of the end of the year and Epiphany.

Iberia, for its part, has shown its “huge disappointment” before the “irresponsible“strike call,” in the midst of negotiating a viable solution for handling.

According to separate statements from UGT and CCOO, after different meetings with Iberia and IAG (the group to which the Spanish company belongs together with British Airways, Vueling, Aer Lingus and Level), the holding company still does not accept the creation of an “autohandling” that provides service to all the group’s airlines in the airports where it did not obtain a license.

Iberia says that workers they will not lose rights

On September 26, Aena announced the result of the contest, which left Iberia out of service to third parties at some of the country’s main airports. (Barcelona, ​​Palma de Mallorca, Málaga, Alicante, Gran Canaria, Tenerife South, Ibiza and Bilbao)although he maintained Madrid.

Iberia recalls in its note that it took legal action to request the annulment of the contest and, in parallel, it has working “intensely” with the unions to find a solution.

The airline adds that, under the V Convention of the ground handling sector, The subrogation of the workers to the winning companies of the contest would be carried out with the guarantee that all of them will fully retain their rights, their labor, salary and extra-salary concepts, including the plane tickets that they have been enjoying as Iberia employees.

He also points out that it is difficult to realize “autohandling” in the airports where it lost the license, since it would mean “serious damage to the competitiveness of the company and all IAG airlines, with its consequent economic impact, and with the insurmountable condemnation of this business in the medium term” .

Iberia has explained to the unions in this process that “autohandling” and partial subrogation is not a viable solution because it would mean that they would remain in the group. the most senior people and, therefore, those with higher salaries.

This means that the operators awarded the tender would have the personnel with the lowest salary cost, so they could offer much more competitive prices than those that can be achieved through “autohandling” and would create a competitiveness gap between the main Spanish airlines and the international operators that won the competition.

Iberia explains that it has never done “autohandling” in those airports in which it operates, but has always opted to hire the services of third parties.