Millions of holidaymakers going to Spain face travel misery as airport staff plan 'indefinite strike' from Easter

FIVE million holidaymakers travelling to Spain this Easter will face flight chaos if an indefinite strike by 60,000 ground handling staff goes ahead.

The strike will affect all airports in Spain and is expected to start on the Saturday of Easter weekend.

Unión Sindical Obrera (USO) and Unión General de Trabajadores (UGT) say they are still willing to negotiate over pay and conditions but if no agreement is reached, they are calling for a walkout from April 20.

The strike would affect all Spanish airports, the unions have confirmed.

A strike by this group of workers would likely cause long queues and delays to flights, which could lead to a large number of cancellations.

The peak Easter week is expected to see around five million passengers travelling, and 32,500 flights scheduled to operate across the Aena-managed airports.

The unions are not happy about specific clauses in their collective agreement affecting workers who are transferred from one company to another.

A spokesman said: "The USO air sector, together with UGT, has presented a conciliation request prior to the call for a state strike against Aseata, the employer representing all the companies in the ground assistance sector.

"The call for strikes, which [includes] some 60,000 handling workers, are called at all Spanish airports, will begin on April 20."

"This conflict affects the staff that provide services in companies in the sector, including ground handling services, aircraft and passengers, merchandise and mail, as well as the service of placing and removing gangways, which connect the aircraft with the port terminal."

Isabel Rubio, secretary of Trade Union Action of the Aerial Sector, said Aseata was currently refusing to budge on one controversial element which the unions felt was prejudicial to workers' rights and bonus pay.

Another strike, which had been threatened for July, was called off pending negotiations.

A statement from the USO air sector said: "For the USO and UGT, it is fundamental that the reallocated workers can maintain and, where appropriate, claim their rights.

"The purpose of the IV Convention is to prevent companies from carrying out malicious interpretations that undermine the rights of workers.

"Therefore, USO and UGT, will initiate the process of previous and mandatory mediation in order to convene a strike in the sector."

According to the FCO, more than 19 million Brits travel to Spain every year thanks to cheap holiday package deals.

Recently, many of the popular holiday resorts for Brits are cracking down on drunekn activities and public drinking in a bid to stamp down on bad behaviour.

Happy hours and two-for-one drinking hours have been banned in Majorca, for example, with fines up to €3,000 (£2,795) for those who break the rules.

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