Spanish airline Iberia is close to a deal with its
striking employees, chairman Antonio Vazquez said Tuesday, as trade
unions were considering a proposal by a government-appointed mediator
to reduce job cuts.
More than 2,500 flights by Iberia and related airlines were cancelled in February and March over plans by Iberia's owner International Airlines Group to cut 3,807 jobs, nearly 20 per cent of the total, following a merger with British Airways.
A third five-strike day is due from March 18 to 22. Unions have also threatened an indefinite strike.
Mediator Gregorio Tudela is proposing that Iberia cut only 3,141 jobs. Salaries of remaining Iberia staff would also be slashed by less than had initially been planned.
IAG has accepted the proposal. Unions representing Iberia cabin crew and ground employees were due to give an answer by Wednesday.
"We expect unions to give a definitive answer and to say yes," Vazquez said.
The government has estimated that the strike costs about 10 million euros (13 million dollars) daily. Tourism is one of the sectors bolstering the country's battered economy.
Iberia says it made losses of 850 million euros between 2008 and September 2012.
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