Iberia files suit against pilots’ union over strike

Airline calls stoppage "abusive" and "illegal"

Iberia on Tuesday initiated legal action against pilots’ union Sepla for what the leading Spanish airline claims is an “illegal” and “abusive” strike.

The company initially filed a request for reconciliation with the directorate-general of labor. If this fails to bring the desired result, Iberia will file a suit with the High Court seeking financial damages for losses it estimates at three million euros a day.

The pilots have held a series of one-day stoppages with minimum services since last year and plan further strikes to coincide with the Easter holiday period and other public holidays later this month and in May.

Sepla’s actions are in protest at Iberia’s plan to set up a low-cost carrier for short- and medium-haul flights in Europe in response to stiff competition on routes from other budget carriers. The new airline is due to start operating on March 25.

It has also taken action against the Stalva union for similar reasons. Stalva represents about a third of Iberia’s cabin crew.

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