IAG accepts mediator proposal in Iberia labour dispute

Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:52pm EDT

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MADRID, March 10 (Reuters) - IAG airline holding company
  has accepted a government-appointed
mediator's compromise proposal to end a labour conflict over
mass layoffs at Spanish flagship airline Iberia, the company
said on Sunday.
    "The board has decided to accept the proposal," the company
said in a statement. International Airlines Group, or IAG, is
the holding company for Iberia and British Airways.
    The mediator proposed Iberia lay off 3,141 workers, instead
of the 3,807 the airline had planned to let go, with severance
pay of 35 days per year worked, rather than 20.
    The unions have not said yet whether they accept the
proposal and it was not immediately possible to reach union
representatives on Sunday. Union workers had previously rejected
a company offer to soften its initial plan for firing staff.
    The mediator is scheduled to meet with worker
representatives on Monday.
    Iberia workers went on strike Feb. 18-22 and March 4-8 and
are planning a third one-week strike for March 18-22. They have
also threatened to strike again during Easter week.
    Struggling to compete with low-cost competitors, loss-making
Iberia also had also announced plans for 20 percent salary cuts
for its remaining 16,000 workers. The mediator has proposed 15
percent reductions in salaries.
    During the two week-long strikes by pilots, air stewards and
ground staff, Iberia canceled about 10 percent of flights to the
United States and Latin America and 50 percent of flights within
Spain.
    The company has said it was losing 3 million euros a day
during the strikes.

 (Reporting by Jose Elias Rodriguez; Writing by Fiona Ortiz;
editing by Sofina Mirza-Reid)
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