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Controllers offered salary increases to call off strike

Thu 5th Aug 2010

AENA bosses have offered the air-traffic controllers planning to strike later this month an average salary of 200,000 euros a year until 2013 on condition that they call off their industrial action.

AENA representatives met with members of the air-traffic controllers' union, USCA, earlier today in order to negotiate.

The airline governing body, who report to the Ministry of Works, has offered salaries 'way above staff's European colleagues' in a bid to make workers re-think.

However, air-traffic controllers, who have threatened action lasting up to three days starting from either August 18 or 20 say that AENA has been attempting to bribe them with higher pay without addressing their real concerns.

These concerns include poor shift management, meaning long hours without a break, and the fact that they want to be given the right to retire early at the age of 57.

AENA has attempted to address working times by restricting annual hours to 1,670, with a further 80 hours' overtime.

This equates to a reduction of around an hour a week from the previous 1,800 hours a year (on average, 35 working hours per week).

The plan will include fixed rest periods, programming of working days or nights and 24-hour shift sharing, as well as bonuses which will be awarded for productivity.

If the strike should proceed, it could cost airlines millions of euros and leave holidaymakers heading for the Mediterranean this summer having to forego their trips - on top of what has already been a very bad year for both airlines and the turist industry overall.

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