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Mass redundancy applications by Spanish air traffic controllers

Mon 6th Sep 2010

Representatives of 400 out of all the 1'900 Spanish air traffic controllers met with the Minister for Development on Friday to apply for redundancy from their positions. A clause in their contract of employment enables them to do this because their working conditions have been changed.

The terms of this clause entitles them to 45 days redundancy pay for each year each employee has worked - up to a maximum of 42 months.

The spokesman for the applicants described the redundancy amount demanded as ‘substantial', but representatives of AENA countered that the number of resigning controllers was just 180 and said that they would only be entitled to 20 days compensation per year worked.

The spokesman mentioned how the controllers had taken the matter to trial, and reminded the press that they had been complaining about their newly imposed working conditions for the past six months. Under the new minimal deal, AENA has agreed to pay a basic wage of 200,000 € for 1,670 hours annual work to the controllers until 2013, but in some cases this represents a 40% cut in take home pay compares to previous salaries.

Of the 400 who have initiated redundancy proceedings, the Spanish media report that only 200 are currently at work, while the rest are aged over 55 and on reserve cover with a basic AENA wage, and only work in to cover illness and absence when required.

The press report that AENA is denying the redundancy requests, however it will be the responsibility of the courts to decide the overall result. The spokesman expressed concern that the clause in question would be nullified by the judge.

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