Strike pain in Spain falling on planes

   
     
Spain faced major travel chaos and mass protests Wednesday as its first general strike in eight years was held amidst anger over government measures to cut unemployment and fuel the economy.

Unions are fighting cuts across Europe and plan protests in 12 countries including Ireland, Italy and Portugal, the European Trade Union Confederation said in a Bloomberg report.

However, the walkout was expected to draw a weak response, given the fear generated by the 20 per cent unemployment rate and the government’s measures already viewed as inevitable.

Even so, the strike was expected to result in widespread disruption to transport services, although the unions last week struck an unprecedented deal with the government to ensure minimum services, Mysinchew.com reported.

The deal provides for a minimum of 20 to 40 per cent of international flights and 10 per cent within the Spanish peninsula.

It will allow 20 per cent of high speed trains and 25 per cent of district trains, including 30 per cent for morning rush hour. No regional or long-distance trains are guaranteed, the report said.

Spanish national flag carrier Iberia said it would operate 35 per cent of its flights.

Irish low-cost airline Ryanair said it has cancelled all its Spanish domestic flights and most of its international flights for the day.

The budget airline has blamed what it calls "the failure of the Spanish government to ensure minimum service guarantees for non-Spanish airlines’ flights", Irish website BreakingNews.com reported.

The strike in Spain coincides with union action in Brussels, Athens and other European cities as austerity measures bite across the continent.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.C
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