By David Stewart White
Iberia Airlines announced on February 6 that talks with its unions had failed and that employee walkouts are expected. Almost simultaneously, Spain's Unión General de Trabajadores (transportation union) announced strike dates by Iberia workers.
Iberia ground and cabin crew will go on a prolonged 5-day strike from February 18 through February 22. The unions will then follow with another walkout from March 4-8, and again from March 18-22.
Iberia was purchased by British Airways in 2010 and the two airlines merged to form International Airlines Group (IAG). Willie Walsh, once CEO of British Airways, was named to head the merged group. IAG management has been attempting to revamp the less-profitable Spanish carrier since the merger. Iberia's unions are fighting proposed layoffs, which are part of IAG's plans to improve profitability.
Iberia claims that it will take "all possible steps to assist customers that may be affected by this incomprehensible reaction by the unions."