The aircraft maintenance, baggage handling and cabin crews of Spanish airline Iberia stage a series of strikes in protest against massive job cuts.
strikes are expected to hit hard the image and finances of already loss-making carrier. According to the Iberia Chief Executive Rafael Sanchez-Lozano, the company's survival could be at stake.
"The strike at Iberia is like a hunger strike: If you're successful, you'll die," said Sanchez-Lozano.
Iberia, which is together with British Airways part of International Airlines Group (IAG), announced in November 2012 it would cut more than 4,500 jobs, a quarter of the company's total workforce.
The strikes will be a further blow to Spain's crisis-hit economy, eleven percent of which is represented by tourism.
"Spain cannot allow itself a strike in a strategic sector," said the country's Public Works Minister Ana Pastor, adding that Iberia operates important short- and mid-range flights as well as strategic link-ups to Latin America.
Iberia's crew had planned six days of stoppages between 14 and 21 December in protest at planned job cuts. Unions representing the airline's staff, however, canceled the strikes to avoid disruption over the Christmas period.
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