Chaos may not be over at Barcelona airport
Security workers call new strikes and unions say they will take to court the Spanish government’s forced arbitration
The 3-hour-waits to cross security controls at Barcelona airport have been gone for two weeks. Yet, the chaos may be back sooner than expected.
The compulsory arbitration forced by the Spanish government is set to end on Thursday at noon with the final decision by a forced mediator appointed to find common ground between security workers and Eulen, the private company appointed by state operator Aena to deal with security in the airport.
Spanish minister for infrastructure, Íñigo de la Serna, said on Wednesday that the compulsory arbitration will end the conflict once and for all.
Yet, workers have already called new strikes and trade unions say they will bring the Spanish government’s forced arbitration to court.
“We are evaluating the legality of the government’s decision because it may infringe fundamental rights, such as the right to strike and collective bargaining,” said Javier Pacheco, secretary general of Spain’s largest trade union CCOO. In an interview with ACN, Pacheco said his organization is “considering taking the [Spanish government’s] decision to court.”
“We are evaluating the legality of the government’s decision because it may infringe fundamental rights, such as the right to strike and collective bargaining"
Javier Pacheco · CCOO secretary general in Catalonia
Workers are protesting the supposedly low pay and poor working conditions imposed by Eulen. The conflict peaked in mid-August, when holidaymakers had to wait between two and three hours at security controls.
Security staff started an indefinite strike on August 14, and the Spanish government sent the Guardia Civil police to take control of the security checkpoints in order to “protect national security,” as the Spanish minister for infrastructure, Íñigo de la Serna, put it.
Security workers have called a new strike for every Friday beginning on September 8. They will stage hour-long strikes between 10.30 and 11.30am, and between 6.30 and 7.30pm.
This time, security staff will also protest what they allege are company reprisals for not complying with the mandatory minimum services during this summer’s strike. Workers say two of their colleagues have already been dismissed and fear many more firings may be coming.
The Catalan government does not have the competences over the control of Barcelona airport, but it can intervene as a mediator between the two parties. So far, all its proposals have been rejected.