Summer air travel in Spain and Europe continues to be marred by problems ranging from flight cancellations, delays, lost luggage and general travel chaos, involving popular airlines Ryanair, EasyJet, Lufthsansa, Swiss and Brussels Airlines.
The latest airline which could be hit with setbacks is Barcelona-headquartered Vueling.
On Tuesday, between 300 and 400 of its employees protested outside the offices of Vueling’s holding company IAG at Barcelona’s El Prat Airport, calling for a 6.5 percent rise in their salaries and better conditions relating to work-life balance.
The 6.5 percent figure corresponds to the rise in Spain’s Consumer Price Index at the end of 2021, the highest in 29 years, with many workers arguing they struggle to make ends meet in the Catalan capital with what Vueling pays them.
“If the company doesn’t change its stance, we’ll soon suggest a strike” warned Guadalupe Romero, spokesperson for Stavla, one of the unions which represents Vueling’s Spain-based workers.
"Huelga ya", gritan los TCP de Vueling. Si llega, será el primer paro de los tripulantes de la aerolínea. pic.twitter.com/a8CoSD8jWP
— Héctor Marín (@HMarin8) August 2, 2022
“We agreed to put negotiations on hold during the pandemic due to other urgent matters, including furlough negotiations, but now Covid-19 is behind us and the same problems exist.
“The current agreement is outdated, and inflation has made it impossible to make ends meet. Added to that are the exhausting work hours”.
Vueling management and their employees have been discussing the conditions of a new collective agreement for the past weeks, but so far no new wages deal has been reached.
A key meeting scheduled for Friday August 5th at Spain’s Mediation and Arbitration Service (SIMA) could decide whether Vueling cabin crew go ahead with the stoppage this month.