Iberia pilots union rejects restructuring

Sepla, the union representing Iberia pilots has rejected the proposed restructuring plan presented by the airline and called on the company to unwind its merger with British Airways. IAG, the holding company for the tie-up between BA and Iberia, last week unveiled a plan that calls for 4,500 layoffs, about 23% of the workforce, and salary cuts for pilots on national and European flights to bring them into line with those of its low-cost affiliate Vueling.

The potential salary cuts could be as much as 47%. Iberaia, which makes huge losses, wants an agreement on the layoffs by the end of January and has threatened even more drastic cuts if no agreement is forthcoming.

Iberia made a loss of 262 million euros in the first nine months of the year. BA, on the other hand, made a profit of 285 million euros.

The unions have described the plan as an ‘outrage’ and describe the merger as a ploy to dismantle Iberia and acquire its assets on the cheap.

Obviously Iberia cannot continue in its present shape or form if it wishes to survive, particularly during the current financial climate and with a population with an ever-dwindling purchasing power.

It perhaps comes down to a choice between safeguarding the precious jobs of 77% of the workforce and continuing in business, maybe even becoming financially viable in time, or being dogmatic in opposing such restructuring and safeguarding 0% of jobs and letting thousands more join the ranks of the unemployed. Difficult choice.

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