Spanish pilots considering more strikes

The trade union representing Spanish pilots (Sepla) has decided to set more dates for strike action. The dates for future industrial action will be announced over the next few days. However, the union says that the strikes will not coincide with key dates over the festive season due to the lack of time left for announcing the strikes.

During a press conference attended by pilots representing all Spanish airlines Javier Martínez de Velasco, the Chairman of Sepla, said that the decision to hold more strikes had been taken following ‘an intense year’ and ‘following months of knocking on many doors’ with the objective of getting the Ministry of Transport to comply with laws on rest times and the prevention of fatigue in cabin crews.

He said that ‘we have decided to take this step conscious of the fact that we will be well received by the rest of society. He said it was the last step that he wanted to take and said that the plans for strikes would aim to cause the least possible disruption to passengers.

He added that by taking strike action Sepla was denouncing the Ministry of transport for failing to fulfil its commitment to regulating pilots’ and cabin crews’ working hours and statutory break times following more than a year’s delay in publishing new regulations.

The Chairman of Sepla said that the law which came into effect at the beginning of this year practically ignored the demands of his union and said that the delay in publishing the norms had created a legal loophole and confusion that allowed airlines to programme over and above the threshold set down by EU regulations therefore having a knock on effect on security.

Nevertheless, Martínez said that he had received a telephone call from Manuel Ameijeiras Vales, the General Director of Spanish Civil Aviation, who had organized a meeting with pilots and the under secretary of State this morning.

He said that it was possible for the issue to be resolved depending on whether there was a change of attitude on the part of the Ministry of Transport.

Martínez said that all minimum service requirements would met during any future strike action taken by his members.