27 Mar 2011

Airport strikes called off

9:00 am on 27 March 2011

Union members at airports in Spain have called off 22 days of strikes which threatened to cause major disruption over the Easter holidays and into the summer.

They voted to cancel the strike after receiving guarantees over job security and conditions.

The strikes were called over the part-privatisation of Aena, the national airport operator.

The government plans to sell up to 49% of the company in a drive to reduce Spain's budget deficit.

It was feared that the sale of the company would result in job losses and a deterioration in conditions.

Union leaders said about 70% of their 10,000 members have voted to call off the industrial action.

The BBC reports the strikes would have involved security personnel, baggage handlers, ground crew and others at 47 airports.

They would have dealt a serious blow to the tourism industry. Spain is seeing an increase in visitor numbers as tourists avoid trouble spots in the Middle East such as Egypt and Tunisia.