Airport and train strikes: what you need to know

When are they taking place, who’s calling the protests, and how will it affect you

Passengers cram into a packed train on a day of strike action from Renfe workers. (Photo: Pilar Tomás)
Passengers cram into a packed train on a day of strike action from Renfe workers. (Photo: Pilar Tomás) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

August 14, 2019 07:45 PM

Not only is summer one of the busiest seasons for the Barcelona airport, but also the most affected by strikes from workers who use the traffic peak as a bargaining chip to negotiate better conditions. Trains operated by the Spanish railway company Renfe will also be affected by a string of strikes. 

Here’s a quick guide to who’s calling the different protests, when will they take place, and why.

Barcelona airport

Who? Ryanair crew

When? September 1, 2, 6, 8, 13, 15, 20, 22, 27, and 28

Why? Cuts and the announced closure of Ryanair’s bases in the Canary Islands, over fears that drastic measures could also affect the company’s base in Girona, Catalonia, and lead to massive lay-offs.


Who? Iberia ground staff at the airport

When? August 24, 25, 30, and 31

Why? The Iberia ground staff are on strike to protest staffing levels which they say are not keeping pace with the growth of activity at the airport, a lack of permanent contracts, and the "indiscriminate" use of mandatory overtime by Iberia. 


Who? Security staff at the airport

When? Ongoing 24-hour strike

Why? Workers demand getting paid better for overwork and having more changes to deal with it, as well as free parking at the airport. 

The impact of the strike has so far been scarce, as the Spanish government set minimum services at 90%.


Who? Renfe (Spanish railway company) workers

When? August 31 and September 1

Why? Renfe staff are fighting for better working conditions in various different areas, such as an increase in fees to replace colleagues, an end to the outsourcing of services, the rights to promotions, amongst others. 

Minimum services: The Spanish government has set minimum services at 40% for regular trains and between 65-78% for long-distance and high-speed trains.