Situation calm as Barcelona airport workers begin indefinite strike

No long lines reported at El Prat as Civil Guard officers man checkpoints after security staff walk out

Lines at Barcelona's El Prat airport.
Lines at Barcelona's El Prat airport.Massimiliano Minocri

The situation at Barcelona’s El Prat airport on Monday morning was calm despite fears passengers would face lengthy lines after security staff at the facility on Sunday overwhelmingly rejected a new deal offered by the regional government of Catalonia and called an indefinite strike.

In response to the ongoing crisis and news of the strike beginning Monday, Public Works Minister Íñigo de la Serna on Sunday announced the government would take the extraordinary measure of launching compulsory arbitration proceedings, the outcome of which all parties involved in the strike would be required to adhere to.

The minister had earlier announced that the government would be sending the Civil Guard to El Prat airport in order to man the security scanners, with the central government’s delegation in Catalonia saying that 90% staffing levels would be guaranteed.

Monday’s strike by security workers comes after earlier rolling stoppages on the part of workers with Eulen who patrol the entrances of Barcelona’s El Prat airport and supervise checked baggage. Workers have repeatedly complained of low wages and poor conditions.

Those strikes had caused headaches for travelers using the airport in recent weeks.

English version by George Mills.

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