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Minimum services set to 90% during Barcelona Airport strike

According to the decision, a lower level of services could severely affect the right to freedom of movement

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03 August 2017 10:38 AM

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ACN | Barcelona

The Spanish government’s delegation in Catalonia has established the level of minimum services at 90% during the Eulen airport security staff’s partial strike which begins Friday. According to the decision, this fixed level aims to “guarantee the functioning of essential services” in the middle of the heavy summer traffic, which foresees a large increase in passengers. According to the Spanish executive, this minimum services level of 90% will have to be applied during all the set protest periods, in all shifts in both Terminals 1 and 2. The Spanish government considers that a lower percentage “could severely affect other fundamental rights, especially the right to freedom of movement, and said this level of minimum services must be applied for security reasons as well.

The order from the Spanish executive recognizes “the right to strike and protects the organizers”, but also emphasizes that a complete standstill of the services provided by the security staff “could lead to disproportionate effects, especially with regard to security, as well as harm to passengers.”

  • “A person in front of the scanner for 16 hours is not at a level 4 alert"

    Genoveva Sierra · strike committee member

Minimum service level is “a disgrace”

A strike committee member, Genoveva Sierra, qualified the minimum services level of 90% as a disgrace. Sierra criticized the Spanish government for explaining that this percentage is due to security reasons. “A person in front of the scanner for 16 hours is not at a level 4 alert [antiterrorism]. The human body has a limit. This is not a level 4 alert, but the minimum service requirement is,” Sierra complained. Sierra furthermore complained that her group “does not have the right to strike” and she added that “everyone knows that we are right and everyone can see that we are being exploited”.

Even before the Spanish executive announced the minimum service requirements, Eulen's airport workers said their decision to increase the scope of the strike was motivated by suspicions that the Spanish Government was likely to establish a level of minimum services between 85 or 90%. “It is ridiculous,” said Sierra, “because 10 to 15% of the staff is already on vacation, so it is as if we had no right to strike.” She furthermore added that in addition to voting in favor of intensifying the strike, the workers’ representatives also agreed to carry out as yet unspecified protests.

On the other hand, Sierra harshly criticized the state airport operator, Aena, whom she said was principally responsible for the situation that Eulen’s workers are in. She demanded that the state airport operator “stop playing around with the tenders”. According to Sierra, Aena imposes sanctions on Eulen when the waiting time in security checkpoint lines exceeds 10 minutes and as a consequence the security company ends up reducing its staff. “We pay the fines and we pay Aena,” Sierra concluded.   

Intensifying the indefinite strike

On Wednesday, an assembly of Eulen employees voted 92% in favor of intensifying the indefinite strike planned to start this Friday by extending their actions from three days a week to every day, and all day long rather than at peak hours. 

While the new striking conditions are registered, the security staff will keep to the previously agreed schedule until August 14 or 15, stopping work every Friday, Sunday and Monday, from 5:30–6:30am, 10:30–11:30am, 4:30–5:30pm and 6:30­–7:30pm. 

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  • Long lines in Barcelona Airport (by ACN)

  • Long lines in Barcelona Airport (by ACN)

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