January 27, 2021

Ground staff threatens to paralyze airports

Ground staff threatens to paralyze airports


Strike in sight. The ground staff of Spanish airports, known as "handling", has unearthed the hatchet. After reaching a principle of agreement "in extremis" with the employers (Aseata) in July that then avoided the mobilizations, now the threat of stoppages is again on the table. UGT, CC OO and USO have announced that they will register in the next few days before the Interconfederal System of Mediation and Arbitration (SIMA) a request for mediation, the previous step for the call for strike, before the closing offer "absolutely unfair" that, in the opinion of Comisiones Obreras and UGT, has presented the employer's association.

In July, employers and unions reached an agreement on the bonuses as well as on the establishment of guarantees for the maintenance of the rights of the subrogated workers. Both parties gave themselves until the end of September to continue negotiating and signing, after more than two years of negotiations, the IV collective agreement of the sector, which employs 60,000 people. However, the unions say that although the companies understand that they must repay certain supplements, the proposal they have made is unacceptable to them. "We can not allow more companies to continue operating in our labor market with wild deals, using precarious contracts and workers' salaries," UGT and Commissions said in a joint statement. "The parties are distanced and after confirming the employer that he was not going to make a new counterproposal, the social side has had no choice but to say enough," the note adds.

The "handling" agreement affects workers who provide ground handling services, aircraft, passengers -including assisting passengers with reduced mobility-, merchandise, mail, as well as the service of placing and removing gangways, which they connect the aircraft with the port activity. Among the handling companies are Groundforce, Iberia, Acciona, Atlantic Handling, AviaPartner, Clever, Lesma, Menzies Aviation, Ryanair, Easyjet and Swissport. If implemented, the strike would affect all the airlines that operate in Spanish airports.

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