13-Dec-2010 9:22 AM

Spanish controllers face charges of sedition over strike action

Spanish controllers face charges of sedition under the Criminal Law Procedure of Air Navigation with prison sentences of up to eight years for hundreds of air traffic controllers who organised strike action which took place on 03-Dec-2010 and 04-Dec-2010 (Typically Spanish/Think Spain, 10/11-Dec-2010). The six air-traffic controllers summoned to give statements to the Public Prosecutor's office in Madrid on 10-Dec-2010 exercised their right to remain silent, maintaining that the military court is the only valid one in the circumstances. A total of 26 controllers have now been called to give statements regarding their decision to strike. The controllers’ called in sick in mass in defence of health and safety conditions as well as opposition to government plans to privatize 49% of Aeropuertos Españoles y Navegación Aérea (AENA). Almost 90% of the controllers have exceeded the legal maximum of 1,670 hours of work a year. AENA has also opened disciplinary proceedings against 442 controllers. Deputy Prime Minister, Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, commented that the decision to extent the 'State of Alarm' had not been taken yet, but if it is to be extended it has to be done and in place before 19-Dec-2010. CANSO condemned the strike action and expressed support for Aena. [more - CANSO]

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