Spanish air traffic controllers have called off a strike planned for later this month, saying they don’t want to further dent the country’s troubled tourism industry.
Around 300,000 British tourists stood to have their holidays ruined following the breakdown of the UNSCA union negotiations over pay and working conditions on Friday.
But after an outcry from Spain’s tourist industry and a damning response from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the UNSCA union has vowed to postpone the action.
The Spanish tourism industry was hit hard by the recession and, although many Britons will holiday there this summer, its overall visitor numbers have dropped dramatically for the third year in a row.
Uncertainty over the possibility of strikes had already hurt last-minute bookings, which are lower than predicted. But tourism and airline officials feared visitor numbers could fall even further after talks with Spain’s airport authority AENA broke down last week. Many tourists had already looked at cancelling or postponing their trips.
Air traffic controllers’ relatively high salaries and short working hours have been severely criticised by the Spanish media, particularly as the union’s strike threats are over pay cuts and a drop in overtime for workers.
IATA had warned that industrial action would threaten Spain’s fragile recovery. ‘This is not the time for strikes,’ said IATA director general Giovanni Bisignani.
The action is now postponed while negotiations resume.
Source – Daily Mail
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