Spanish ATCOs: reasons for the partial strikes
The members of the Spanish ATCOs union USCA, have approved an extension to the industrial action initiated in June, with two partial strikes on September 26th and October 3rd. The strikes will take place from 6am to 6pm both days.
This decision has been made because of the refusal to revoke the disciplinary action and lack of any kind of agreement regarding the reinstatement of the ATCO unfairly fired by ENAIRE, who deny any possibility of negotiation with the ATCOs. Therefore USCA have been forced to call a new round of partial strikes following the union´s decision to suspend the industrial action in August so as not to harm the Spanish tourism industry this summer.
The reasons for the strike
USCA has maintained the same two demands since this conflict started: the withdrawal of the disciplinary action imposed on 61 ATCOs at Barcelona ACC because of the Spanish airspace closure in 2010, after the judge in charge of the criminal case has determined the absence of any kind of accountability; and the reinstatement of Marco Enriquez, Santiago TACC ATCO fired four years ago because of the same events, a dismissal considered by the Santiago court of Justice as “based on unreal facts”
ENAIRE finds itself acting alone
There were three legal threats held against the Barcelona ACC ATCOs: the criminal trial, the administrative sanctions and the company disciplinary actions. The first two of have resulted in total absence of accountability against the ATCOs and have been dropped, however, inexplicably ENAIRE has continued to take disciplinary action against its ATCOs for the same events.
Abusive minimum service
USCA hopes that ENAIRE and the Government won´t infringe again the right to strike, as they did in June, imposing 70% minimum service, and 80% in July, discriminating against ATCOs from any other essential worker in Spain, and clearly against their colleagues all over Europe.
It so happens that the allocation of these minimum services by ENAIRE meant that in practice near 100% of Spanish ATCOs in operational duties were designated and couldn´t exercise their right to strike.