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Airport strike to be called for April 21st

Fri 4th Mar 2011

Earlier today Employees of Aena, the Spanish Airports Authority, called for a 24-hour strike to take place on April 21st to coincide with the first day of the Easter holidays. The poposed strike is in protest against the Government's intention to privatise AENA.

More than 20% of Barcelona Airport's 1000 Employees attended a meeting called by the unions this morning to oppose the move. A spokesman for Aena works council advised passengers with flight tickets for EasterWeek to change them.

The head of UGT-Aena explained that the unions intend to make the strike official on Tuesday of next week. He acknowledged the problems that this may cause for many travellers, saying "we know that our action will affect many passengers, but we can not sit idly by watching workers' rights get cut time and again".

He added that "privatisation signifies a loss of rights and working conditions" but added that "it also affects citizens in general, as the changes mean we will all pay for the airports via taxation, whereas at the moment they are only paid for by people who use them".

Public Works Minister, Josť Blanco,atracted criticism from the Unions "On one hand he says they will negotiate until the last minute to avoid a strike and the consequent disruption to passengers, but the truth is that negotiations, if they ever existed, have broken down. There is no dialogue which is why we have applied to strike next Tuesday".

The UGT is also planning futher strike action in late July to coincide with the busy summer season, "but the timetable has yet to be confirmed".

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