Spanish unions planning strikes during Easter travel crunch

Airport ground workers, pilots and train drivers will all walk out on the job in April, coinciding with passenger peaks at transportation hubs

Ramón Muñoz

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The Valencia airport.
The Valencia airport.

In what seems increasingly like an established tradition, labor unions at some of Spain’s main transportation companies are making the most of the Easter travel crunch and calling strikes on days with expected passenger peaks.

Airport ground handling staff, Air Nostrum pilots and train drivers at Spain’s state railway company Renfe are all walking out on the job next week.

A Renfe union has called a 24-hour strike for April 23, coinciding with the return date for many Easter travelers

On April 21 and 24, the unions UGT and USO have called a ground handling strike, representing 60,000 workers from different companies. The call comes after failed talks with the employers’ association at a meeting that was mediated by an arbitration service.

These unions want employers to honor a clause in the last collective bargaining agreement concerning worker right guarantees for employees who are transferred to a new employer; this negotiation has been underway for more than two and a half years.

Another union representing security workers, ATES, has also called an open-ended strike at Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas airport starting on April 12.

Air Nostrum

The pilot union Sepla has called a strike of Air Nostrum pilots on April 15, 16, 17, 22, 23 and 24 to protest a growing transfer of production to other airlines within the Iberia airline group. Sepla said that this trend jeopardizes the future of the company and the working conditions of the company pilots. In December, following a three-day strike, management and union representatives reached a deal to limit outsourcing to 20% .


Semaf, the largest train driver union at Renfe, has called a 24-hour strike for April 23, coinciding with the return date for many Easter travelers. The unions says the company has failed to honor professional development agreements for driving personnel.

The railway company is offering three million seats on its fleet to accommodate the higher passenger numbers during the Easter break. Between April 12 and 22, there will be an additional 150,000 seats on its trains.

English version by Susana Urra.

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