MADRID, 2 May. (EUROPA PRESS) -
The Air Europa pilots began their strike on Monday, May 1, a holiday for International Worker's Day, strikes that will last on May 2, 4 and 5 at all bases and work centers in Spain.
The Spanish Union of Airline Pilots (Sepla) published the call on March 19 after having warned of its intention to stop during the months of May and June due to the blockade of the negotiations of the V Collective Agreement.
Therefore, the call complies with the legal minimum of notice --ten calendar days for public service providers-- and has been dated for May 1, a holiday in a large part of the world and extends to the next day, in the middle of 'long weekend ' de Mayo in the Community of Madrid, whose day is celebrated on May 2.
Sepla argues that the strike responds to the "tension and labor conflict generated by the directors of Air Europa" in the negotiation of the agreement, which also failed with the mediation of the Interconfederal Mediation and Arbitration Service (SIMA).
Specifically, from the union they have accused the company of "playing" with the rights of workers and of "disguising" as proposals what supposes a "real loss" of the labor rights of the previous collective agreement.
Sepla has denounced that the Air Europa pilots "feel discriminated against by the company" as they are the only group "affected by this way of acting by the company" and refuses to give in because this "would be irresponsible with regard to the professional and personal future of the group of pilots".
In addition, they allege that the directors of the airline "have opted for confrontation instead of negotiation, threatening and disqualifying the pilots instead of seeking a point of understanding between both parties" during the SIMA mediations.
The representation of the pilots values their commitment to the future of the company, demonstrated during the pandemic, and their "responsibility for social peace" by not calling a strike since 2011, but "they will not allow" a business management that " seeks to profit against users and workers".
They also recall that the pilots approved the representation by Sepla last February and express their wish that this strike "does not serve as an excuse to coerce and pressure", although "it has already happened in the circular sent by the business management to their employees".
In said circular, to which Europa Press had access, the management of the company called the strike "irresponsible and selfish" and warned of the million-dollar losses that it could cause, which would jeopardize future actions, such as the purchase of new aircraft, and compliance with the Viability Plan.
"A measure as drastic and selfish as this strike, as well as its disproportionate effects, are not going to help the pilots' union representatives or the pilots themselves to achieve the objectives they set out to achieve, quite the contrary," they warned in the notice.
Facua-Consumers in Action has warned all passengers who are affected by the strike that they are entitled to compensation of at least 250 euros and a refund of the amount of the ticket and the expenses they have had to assume if their flight is cancelled.
The organization recalls that European Regulation 261/2004 establishes a series of compensations in the event of flight cancellations.
Specifically, article 7 of the regulations states that "passengers will receive compensation in the amount of 250 euros for flights of up to 1,500 kilometers, 400 euros for intra-community flights of more than 1,500 kilometers and for all others, between 1,500 and 3,500, and 600 euros for the rest of the flights".
The association also reminds airlines that a ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) of April 2018 determined that a worker strike is not considered within the concept of "extraordinary circumstances" -which exempts them from delivering the amounts- -, so that "the company cannot refuse the compensation that is demanded of it either."