Spanish airline plans to eliminate nearly 4,000 jobs

Madrid:┬áSpain’s Iberia airlines said Tuesday it planned to eliminate 3,807 jobs, or 19 percent of its workforce, and urged labour unions to call off planned strikes.

The carrier “informed its employees, trade unions and the Spanish Employment Ministry that it has started the formal process of collective redundancy … There will now be a 30-day consultation process”, London-based International Airlines Group, the parent company of British Airways, Iberia and bmi, said in a statement.

Iberia presented its workers with options for reducing the effects of the lay-offs, such as pay cuts, wage freezes and changes aimed at increasing productivity and flexibility.

Ground workers will be hit the hardest by the lay-offs, with about 2,640 affected, followed by cabin crews, with about 760 losing their jobs, and pilots, who would see their numbers reduced by about 320, union representatives said.

The jobs would be eliminated between March 14 and Dec 31, union representatives said.

The carrier initially proposed the elimination of 4,500 jobs due to mounting losses.

“This is part of Iberia’s transformation plan to introduce permanent structural changes across the airline to stem its losses enabling it to grow profitably in the future,” International Airlines Group said.

Iberia lost more than 850 million euros ($1.14 billion) between 2008 and September 2012.


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