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Airport security workers vote to intensify strike

Employees of Eulen firm at Barcelona Airport agree to increase planned industrial action from three days a week to every day from mid-August

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02 August 2017 06:18 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

Barcelona Airport’s recent woes look set to continue after security staff voted on Wednesday to intensify an indefinite strike planned to start on Friday. An assembly of Eulen employees, from the company providing security at the airport, voted 92% in favor of extending industrial action from three days a week to every day, and all day long rather than at peak hours. As Catalan News reported last week, the disgruntled security staff originally agreed to strike indefinitely every Friday, Sunday and Monday, from 5.30-6.30am, 10.30-11.30am, 4.30-5.30pm and 6.30-7.30pm. While the new striking conditions are registered, the security staff will keep to the previously agreed schedule until August 14 or 15.

Since July, the security staff have been working to rule, which has caused long delays at airport checkpoints, with up to a thousand passengers missing their flights. Yet, the airport workers remain defiant and say their decision to increase the scope of the industrial action was motivated by suspicions that the minimum service likely to be established by the Spanish government will be between 85 or 90%. "It is ridiculous because already 10 to 15% of the staff are on vacation, so it is as if we had no right to strike,” said strike committee member, Genoveva Sierra, who added that apart from voting in favor of intensifying the strike, the workers’ representatives also agreed to carry out, as yet unspecified, protests.

  • “There is not enough staff and the extra staff brought in are not trained well enough to operate the scanning machinery"

    Genoveva Sierra · Strike committee member

The committee member also stressed the poor working conditions in the security company and called on the state airport operator, Aena, to intervene in the dispute. “If there had been some minimum requirements in the tender process carried out by Aena, whichever company ended up providing the service, the employees would not see themselves as wronged,” said Sierra. According to the representative, Eulen staff have to do marathon working days of between 14 and 16 hours for a monthly wage of 900 euros. She also claimed that the security workers cannot take breaks because “there is not enough staff and the extra staff brought in are not trained well enough to operate the scanning machinery."

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  • Passengers waiting in line to get past the security control at Barcelona Airport (by ACN)

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