The latest concern about industrial action affecting air travel is a threatened strike by handling workers. Three unions - CCOO, UGT and USO - are contemplating a strike at all Spanish airports. This could affect some 60,000 workers. The strike is being considered for August but could be as early as from 29 July. Otherwise, specific dates and duration have yet to be identified.
The unions are threatening industrial action as a response to the blocking of the latest collective bargaining agreement for handling workers, who provide a range of services, such as baggage, the guiding of planes into and out of parking positions, cabin provisions and check-in. Two years of negotiations have not resulted in an agreement, and the unions say that employers are refusing to discuss issues such as wages, working hours and breaks between working days.
A request has been lodged by the unions with the mediation and arbitration service in order to try and arrive at an agreement that will prevent a collapse of airport services at the height of the summer period.
The Spanish minister of development, José Luis Abalos, says that the government is involved in discussions with handling companies at airports within the Aena network. Although the industrial action is a matter for the companies and the unions to settle, the government has a clear interest because of the potential impact on a public service.
Meanwhile, the Irish Association of Airline Pilots has called two days of strikes by Ryanair pilots for 20 and 24 July.