Strike action at Iberia has been called off after a majority of unions accepted the proposals made by a mediator aimed at settling the dispute over restructuring cuts at the Spanish carrier.
Unions, which have already carried out two 10-day stoppages, have now called off a plan strike for 18-22 March. This includes pilots' union SEPLA, even though it is still to accept the proposals.
Iberia says the agreement is binding on all employees as unions representing 93% of its employees have accepted. As a result the airline has dropped its plan to cut 3,800 jobs and will under mediator Gregorio Tudela's proposals cut 3,141 positions - roughly in line with the number the airline proposed in January.
Iberia says acceptance of the mediator's proposals will oblige it to change many aspects of the initial viability plan, but "considers it is worth it to reach an agreement"
The airline adds it will immediately ask unions to negotiate the measures needed to raise productivity. It argues the proposed staff reduction and wage cuts are a "step in the right direction, but that they must be accompanied by specific productivity measures to ensure future sustainability".
Iberia chief executive Rafael Sánchez-Lozano says: "We all had to concede something, but the company is totally committed to keep negotiating with the unions about all the productivity elements that are required to return Iberia to the forefront of the world airline industry".
The airline says it regrets that SEPLA remains outside the agreement reached, calling it "irresponsible, and showing no solidarity".