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Breakdown of talks between AENA and Controllers

Fri 8th Oct 2010

Talks between air traffic controllers and the government broke down for the second time today, leaving a cloud of uncertainty hanging over the heads of those planning to travel to and from Spain over the next few weeks.

The Spanish Airports Authority (AENA) had agreed to meet the UCSA following a number of threats that would have damaged visitor numbers to Spain over the busy summer months.

However, the union is now claiming that AENA has broken promises they made by preventing the summer strike going ahead, so has officially ended negotiations.

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This breakdown threatens to throw Spain's already struggling travel industry into more uncertainty, paving the way for more strikes during the busy city break and Christmas seasons.

USCA's President commented 'It is another provocation in a long history seen over the past 12 months, supposedly with the intention of doing away with the profession.'

Air Traffic Controllers, who previously took home an everage of of £167,000 a year, are protesting after a recent decree effectively increased their working hours and decresed their breaks.

Over the course of the summer, 98% of all Union members voted in favour of strike action, however, it did not go ahead after a national outcry from those dependent on the travel industry.

The Airports Authority maintains that there is no need for the union to call an end to talks as they had met the conditions previously agreed to in August, it also said many workers were absent from work as part of an unofficial protest.

Ryanair, for one, remain unimpressed, and the Chairman of the company has goe as far as addressing the European Commission in Brussels to urge members to pass legislation to remove the ‘right to strike’ from essential air transport services - such as air traffic controllers.

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