UPDATE 1-IAG's Spanish carrier Iberia to start talks on new job cuts

Fri Jul 11, 2014 9:00am EDT

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MADRID, July 11 (Reuters) - International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) said on Friday its Spanish carrier Iberia would begin a consultation period to cut up to 1,581 staff.

Iberia, which IAG expects to return to profit this year, was hit by strikes and clashed with unions last year when it tried to push through job losses, though it eventually settled disputes with employees.

A spokesman for Iberia's pilots union SEPLA said the latest job consultation was planned and the redundancies would be voluntary. IAG said in its statement it had been one of the options discussed during previous negotiations on salaries and working conditions.

Iberia - whose losses have dragged on parent IAG, owner of British Airways - had already planned 3,100 staff cuts for the 2012-2015 period. The new redundancies affecting up to 1,581 people will take place over the 2014-2017 period, a spokesman at the carrier said. (Reporting by Robert Hetz and Sarah White, Editing by Julien Toyer and Jane Merriman)

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