Air Controllers keep the strike after failure in talks

Madrid airport tower by Mathieu Marquer

Yesterday morning, air controllers confirmed they would keep the walkouts which had been scheduled for today from 10:00 to 12:00 and from 18:00 to 20:00 LT in the Spanish airports. The meeting they held with Enaire ended without success. According to the information published by ElEconomista, Enaire called the main controllers’ Union (USCA) for a meeting. After a short one, the controllers decided to go on with the strike for today and Sunday as previously scheduled.

So far, the walkouts held on Monday and Wednesday have gone by with flight punctuality close to 100%. From the USCA’s point of view, the minimum services established in 70% by the Ministry, actually involve 99% of the staff in the operations department at the towers. In their opinion, these minimum services have more impact on the employees at the offices. This explains the low impact of this strike on air traffic so far. This was announced on their web site, in Spanish, on Wednesday, when they informed they would respect the established minimum services although they consider them unfair. On a different page, they published a summary of this announcement in English:

Air traffic control trade union USCA said in a statement that it believed the minimum strike services ordered by Spain’s Public Works Ministry were “abusive”, given that they “oblige 99% of controllers to work”.

USCA’s spokeswoman has informed that after the last day of walkouts, planned for this Sunday, they will decide whether to extend this strike with further protests. For that purpose, their National Assembly is expected to hold a meeting in order to carry out a vote.

Photo: Madrid airport tower by Mathieu Marquer – Flickr