Spanish pilots promise no strike action over Christmas
Spain's pilots stated they will postpone any protests that they decide to schedule until after the Christmas holiday period (Typically Spanish/Fox News Latino/Typically Spanish, 07-Dec-2010). A meeting will be held between pilots union SEPLA and the Development Ministry on 14-Dec-2010 to discuss the matter. Dates have not been confirmed for strike action over the Christmas period by AENA employees in relation to the government's plan for partial privatisation. Spain's government insisted they have a "secret contingency plan" to prevent a Christmas repeat of disruption caused when air traffic controllers staged a wildcat strike recently forcing the closure of Spanish air space. The "state of alert" imposed on 04-Dec-2010 to end the action beyond the 15-day declaration ending 19-Dec-2010 to cover the holiday period is likely to be extended.
AENA reported air traffic controllers must work a number of 1840 hours a year, which is higher than the 1670 hours published in the Royal Decree. It was the clarification from the cabinet by Royal Decree on 03-Dec-2010 that the lower figure is only the time spent on aeronautical duty, that led to the recent wildcat strike. The higher figure includes time spent on training, union time, paternity leave, and other duties away from the control tower. European Union regulations say that such employees must work 2000 hours p/a, with 900 hours of that being flight time, but SEPLA insists many carriers regularly exceed these levels of acitivity. [more - Jet2.com]