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Spain's Iberia workers hold major five-day strike

 
 
 
 
 
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Aircraft are stationed on the tarmac of Madrid’s Barajas airport during a one-day strike by the pilots of the Spanish airline Iberia.

Workers at Spain’s flag carrier airline Iberia have launched a five-day strike over its plan to cut over 3,800 jobs and reduce salaries.

The walkout, which is supported by luggage handlers, pilots and flight attendants, has forced Iberia to ground 415 flights from Monday to Friday.

More than 1,200 international flights will also be canceled due to the lack of handling services at Spanish airports.

The cancelations are expected to cost the airline and the struggling Spanish economy millions of euros.

Iberia says more than 70,000 passengers would be affected by the five-day strike.

The Spanish Transport Ministry is setting up back-up services for most international flights, but domestic flights will mostly be canceled.

Meanwhile, Spanish labor unions say they have planned more walkouts for March 4-8 and March 18-22. All the strikes would cost up to 100 million euros for Iberia, which merged with British Airways in 2011 to form the International Airlines Group.

Iberia reported a loss of 262 million euros in the first nine months of 2012.

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