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Spanish Airbus Unions Set To Strike

Date: October 31, 2022

Spanish Airbus Unions Set To Strike

By Molly Russell, (Simple Flying)

10/31/22

Airbus employees affiliated with CCOO, UGT-FICA, and ATP-SAe will walk out indefinitely in a dispute over wages.

Worker’s Commission (CCOO), UGT-FICA, and ATP-SAe members at Airbus are set to walk out Monday in a row over wages, according to a joint union statement. The strike will impact eight Airbus sites across Spain, including the manufacturer’s third-largest facility in Getafe.

Call to strike

A concise statement published by CCOO Industry Madrid laid out the reasons for the strike call, with the unions demanding a fair salary review for Airbus’ Spanish employees following the company’s record profits to ‘guarantee the purchasing power of workers’ amid the ongoing cost of living crisis across Europe. The statement expressed a concern over economic factors negatively impacting workers’ wages and a lack of proposals and clear answers from Airbus management, with the union's adding;

“The efforts of the Airbus workers in recent years must be recognized. It cannot be that, in the current situation, the uncertainties only reflect negatively on the wages of the workers."

On Friday, Airbus posted its Q3 results for 2022, seeing revenues up 27% to €13.309 billion ($13.236 billion) compared to the same period in 2021.

The strike will start on October 31, ending “at the moment in which the management is willing to guarantee that the workers do not lose purchasing power,” CCOO explained.

As reported by TeleMadrid, Airbus recently announced a €1,500 bonus for employees in Spain to account for the country’s current 9% inflation rate, calculated based on its local average salary base. However, the unions rejected the bonus, citing the need for a total salary review before the end of the year.

The bonus is expected to cost Airbus around €200 million, accounted for within Q3’s results, though the company has explained that its implementation will not impact negotiation processes with the unions.

Airbus currently has around 12,300 employees spread across eight sites in Madrid, Castille-La Mancha, and Andalusia, with about 3,000 working within the company’s commercial sector. It is unclear how many employees are union-affiliated and will participate in the industrial action.

Ongoing disputes

The Airbus strike call is the latest in a wave of industrial action to hit Spain’s aviation industry. Last week, workers at Ryanair’s ground handling contractor, Azul Handling, called off a range of 24-hour strikes planned between October 28 and January 8 due to minimum services demands implemented by the country’s ministry of transport. The strike action would have hit 22 airports across the country as USO fought for a new collective agreement for workers.

Vueling flight attendants associated with STAVLA are set to go on strike for around 45 non-consecutive days between November 1 and January 31. Taking place every Friday, Sunday, and Monday, STAVLA confirmed in a statement that the dispute regards slow negotiations with parent company IAG over the collective agreement and Vueling's failure to resolve the ongoing wage dispute.

IAG has claimed the demand for an additional 13.4% pay rise on top of the 6.5% agreed with CCOO over the summer is unrealistic, potentially impacting Vueling’s competitiveness within the low-cost market.

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