Air Controllers Strike Dates Announced.

Old Mar 8th, 2011, 02:09 AM
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Air Controllers Strike Dates Announced.

In Spanish but I think you understand the dates.
http://www.lavozdegalicia.es/dinero/...8388709998.htm
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Old Mar 8th, 2011, 02:36 AM
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Thanks for that. It looks like my flights on 10th and 17th June will be OK, but I'll keep an eye on things.
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Old Mar 8th, 2011, 05:08 AM
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Thanks Riberasacra. I note that 19 and 20 May are mentioned, and was looking at potentially going to Spain that weekend... I can probably still go but will need to go out on 18th

You may have saved me from a big disaster!

jane
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Old Mar 8th, 2011, 08:24 AM
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Thanks for this information. Looks like I'll be OK arriving into Spain on April 16th but may have problems leaving on May 2nd. I'd rather have issues leaving then arriving

I guess there's really nothing we can do other than be prepared for the possibility and have a contingency plan.
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Old Mar 8th, 2011, 08:58 AM
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Is this strike likely to happen?

I arrive in Madrid the morning of the 3rd, the day after a possible strike date. And leave Madrid on the 14th, a supposed strike date.

I went through all that nonsense last year about that damn Icelandic volcano. It finally didn't affect my travel plans, but it was a worry I could've done without.

Now this?
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Old Mar 8th, 2011, 02:01 PM
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The strikes are a game of poker. Each side bluffing the other. With this announcement there will be strikes unless the unions call them off because there is an agreement. This strike is over privatisation the government needs the money.
We all have to wait and see.
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Old Mar 8th, 2011, 02:22 PM
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Thank you so much for posting, it looks like our travel dates will not be affected. I thought for a moment it included the day we flew home. I wouldn't mind being grounded in Barcelona for an extra day or two

wanderful, that volcano disruption will be long remembered by travelers. Deborah


Deborah
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Old Mar 8th, 2011, 02:56 PM
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Any idea of this includes flights OVER Spain ie to Morocco?
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Old Mar 9th, 2011, 02:40 AM
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It is not an air controller´s strike, it is a strike for the land workers in the airports, which will be extremely inconvenient (especially if you already have three flights bought for some of the affected dates, and it is driving me mad).

Bye, Cova
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Old Mar 9th, 2011, 03:40 AM
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In 2006 we were affected by a wildcat strike of baggage handlers and other land personnel in Barcelona. when we showed up in the airport the day after the strike it was bedlam there and our flight to Bilbao never left( supposedly because they didn't have the personnel for the plane). So, the problem is that it would potentially not only affect the official days of the strike, but could spill over to more days.
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Old Mar 9th, 2011, 04:07 AM
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This is from today's BBC NEWS:

Holiday strikes loom for Spanish over Aena dispute
By Sarah Rainsford
BBC News, Madrid

Travellers heading to Spain for Easter face chaos after the country's main trade unions announced 22 days of planned strikes.
They including four during Easter week and other walkouts have been called for the May bank holiday, and at the height of summer.
Unions are protesting at the government's partial privatisation of the airport management company.
They argue that this will lead to airport closures and job losses.
Transport Minister Jose Blanco has said the government will meet union officials on Thursday for talks to avert the walkout.
Unprofitable airports
The government plans to sell a 49% stake in the national airport authority, Aena.
It values that stake at close to 8bn euros (£7bn; $11bn) - crucial to its efforts to reduce the budget deficit and avoid a debt crisis like those in Greece and Ireland.
But trade union officials fear the sell-off will mean job losses, poorer working conditions for those retained and a reduced service.
They are also demanding that all 47 Spanish airports remain open - even the ones that are small and unprofitable.
Up to 12,000 workers could join the walkout - including firefighters and some security staff - bringing airports across the country to a standstill.
The trade unions say they have been in negotiations with the government since the privatisation was announced in December but that those talks have now stopped.
Tourism and airline managers are calling for both sides to act responsibly, warning such strike action - at peak holiday times - would cause serious damage to Spain's economy, which is still struggling to recover from the recession.
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Old Mar 9th, 2011, 04:33 AM
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A followup, from today's New York Times: Apparently, tourism in Spain has dramatically increased because of unrest in the Middle East. Maybe this spike will help spur a settlement among the warring parties involved in the possible strike:

"After two years of declining arrivals, Spain welcomed 2.66 million international tourists in January, an increase of 4.7 percent from the period a year earlier, according to Frontur, an institute that surveys tourism. The North African turmoil has followed steep price reductions by hotel chains and other tourism operators in Spain and elsewhere in Southern Europe to revive demand.

“The events in North Africa will accelerate a recovery that was already underway thanks to price cuts,” Simón Pedro Barceló, president of Barceló Hotels, one of the biggest Spanish hotel operators, said last week by telephone. “The impact has so far been most clearly seen in the Canary Islands, but I certainly expect it to spread to coastal Spain and the Balearic Islands over the coming months.”
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Old Mar 9th, 2011, 09:17 AM
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great news again for Spanish tourism...
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Old Mar 9th, 2011, 10:10 AM
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I arrive in Madrid on June 13th. Hopefully, they will come to agreement before then.
If they don't, what can we expect?
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Old Mar 9th, 2011, 11:14 AM
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gertie3751,
I think that is not an air controllers strike, but the ground staff: follow-me vehicles, refueling, cleaning...
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Old Mar 9th, 2011, 11:53 AM
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Thanks for clarifying. Not that it makes it any better for you all.
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Old Mar 9th, 2011, 11:23 PM
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It is all personal including air controllers.
A strike is a strike and there are not going to be flights unless there are agreements.
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Old Mar 10th, 2011, 04:45 AM
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I appreciate the prompt notice of the strike and hope you will post any updates.

I was able to give the dates to my neice who is studying in Barcelona. I knew she and some friends were flying to Greece around Easter and wanted to alert her to the potential problem. She will by coming back to Barcelona April 20th, the first day of the strike! With the posted strike dates, unless she wants to cut her trip short, it might take her a couple of days to get back.

I'm certainly hoping issues get settled before it comes to a strike. Deborah
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Old Mar 10th, 2011, 08:50 AM
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The current situation is: the UGT, CCOO and USO labor unions are calling a strike, the air-traffic controlers have their own labor union (USCA) and are not among the AENA employees planning to strike.
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Old Mar 10th, 2011, 09:10 AM
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Because, as a traveler (I hope) to Spain in early May, I have a vested interest in whether or not there is a strike at Spain's airports this spring, and it was announced on this thread that an air traffic controller's strike in Spain was possible, I did a little background googling and found this article in the New York Times from last December about a wildcat air traffic controller's strike in Spain at that time:

December 8, 2010
Strike May Be Watershed Event in Spain

By RAPHAEL MINDER MADRID — When Spanish air traffic controllers conducted a wildcat strike over the weekend that shut down airports across the country, they were hoping to force the government to back down from its plans to cut their pay, increase their regular working hours and put Spain’s two largest airports under private management.

Instead, Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero declared a state of alarm and forced the controllers back to work under military authority, and the controllers’ union ended up apologizing for its actions. In a country with a strong labor movement that is usually tolerant of wildcat strikes, the confrontation has been hailed as a potential watershed event along the lines of President Ronald Reagan’s firing of air traffic controllers in 1981.

Whatever the historical fallout, it was immediately clear that the controllers’ timing was poor. With Spain reeling under 20 percent unemployment and facing further austerity measures in response to the European debt crisis, very few Spaniards could gin up much sympathy for workers who were making, on average, $463,000 a year, with some making as much as $1.29 million.

The controllers’ supporters noted that their counterparts throughout the world tend to earn high salaries. German controllers, for example, earn an average of about $200,000 a year, British controllers around $160,000. In the United States, the average annual salary was $109,218 in March 2009.

But even granting that, critics said, Spanish air traffic controllers are in a league of their own.
The fancy salaries stem from a 1999 collective-bargaining agreement, which limited regular working hours and richly rewarded additional shifts.

At the same time, the number of controllers had been held at about 2,400, even as the workload rose sharply as Spain expanded its network of airports during a decade-long construction boom.

But around 500 controllers have taken early retirement or are on extended sick leave, reducing the work force to 1,900.

By comparison, France has about 4,000 controllers, monitoring less of the European airspace than their Spanish counterparts.

Controllers place blame for the low staffing levels on Aena, the state-controlled airport management authority.

“It has worked out cheaper for Aena to pay excess hours than to hire more people and also pay for two years of expensive training,” said Daniel Zamit, a controller and former spokesman for the union. “Those who earn a lot also work a lot, and if somebody can earn almost one million euros, it’s not a sign of abuse but of an excessive and potentially dangerous work regime.”

Aena, in an e-mailed response to questions, insisted that “the problem is not lack of staff but low productivity.” Aena cited a study from Eurocontrol, the air traffic agency, showing that controllers’ work productivity in other European nations rose 12.5 percent between 2003 and 2007 while falling 1 percent in Spain.

Critics of Spain’s powerful unions say the difference between Spanish controllers and their counterparts elsewhere reflects a larger disparity in the power of organized labor.

“This should be an opportunity for a major overhaul that goes well beyond the dispute with controllers,” said Sandalio Gómez, professor of labor relations at the IESE business school in Madrid.

In this instance, a previously beleaguered Mr. Zapatero seems to have won widespread support for his tough response. When he appears before Parliament on Thursday to defend his decision, he is not expected to face the criticism that such a move would have engendered in years past.
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