Iberia ground staff begin strike with 14.6% participation 

Company reports minimal impact on services after offering alternatives to passengers

Iberia ground staff on the first day of the strike at El Prat airport
Iberia ground staff on the first day of the strike at El Prat airport / Caterina Tallón
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

January 5, 2024 10:33 AM

January 5, 2024 04:27 PM

Ground staff at Iberia began a four-day strike across Spain on Friday with 14.61% participation, the company said in a statement.

Initially, the company put the participation rate at 17% among workers who do not have to perform minimum services, but this was lowered later in the morning in a revised statement. 

Iberia says that only "some occasional incidents related to the loading of bags" have been recorded.

In addition, the company notes that 95% of the scheduled workforce has reported on time for duties, while the punctuality of the airline's flights operating today is 83%.


The workers are protesting the company's refusal to provide its own baggage handling services at airports where it has lost its license to do so.  

Iberia's Corporate Director, Juan Cierco, has stressed that the strike is "inexplicable" because the workers have job security and guaranteed salary and benefits.  

Despite meetings between the unions and the company on Wednesday and Thursday to try to call off the strike, no agreement was reached. 

Pedro Gómez, responsible for the aerial division in the union CCOO, criticized the “immobility” of Iberia during the negotiations. 

Iberia accused of losing license 

During Friday’s strike, general secretary of the workers’ union UGT, Camil Ros, accused Iberia of deliberately losing the license “to get rid of quality jobs.” 

Iberia’s director of HR, Celia Martínez Calderón, denied the allegations and pointed to the company’s “effort” to obtain the licenses in all the airports. 

More than 400 flights cancelled

The protest will take place during the celebration of the Epiphany (Three Kings Day) and the return to work after the Christmas holidays.   

The company had to cancel more than 400 Iberia, Iberia Express and Air Nostrum flights. It successfully rebooked more than 80% of the affected passengers, totaling more than 45,000, and refunded tickets to 10% of those affected.