Iberia faces strike action after talks on cuts break down

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Iberia could face a five-day strike later this month after parent company International Airlines Group announced it would press ahead with a restructuring plan that includes 4,500 redundancies at the Spanish carrier.

IAG's board met on 1 February to discuss its impasse with unions. It had previously set a deadline of 31 January for negotiations to be concluded, and, although talks spilled over into February, no agreement was reached.

Willie Walsh, IAG chief executive, says the company remains "ready and willing to negotiate with trade unions", but with no sign of an agreement with staff representatives it is pressing ahead with its original plan for 4,500 job cuts as it attempts to return Iberia to profitability.

Announcing the wholesale restructuring on 9 November, IAG warned that deeper cuts would be needed at Iberia if it could not reach a deal with unions on a recovery plan by the end of January. However, during talks, the proposed number of job cuts was trimmed by around 30% to 3,147.

Spain's UGT union, which represents a number of Iberia's ground staff and cabin crew, tells Flightglobal Pro that details of the proposed strike action is being discussed on 4 February by a number of Iberia unions.

Local media reports suggest a stoppage will last around five days and begin on 18 February. Spanish pilot's union SEPLA is negotiating separately and has not confirmed whether its members will take industrial action.