Airport Workers Strike in Spain over the Christmas Period and Travel Risks
12 Dec 2017
On 29 November 2017, Prosegur staff, who provide security at Madrid’s Adolfo Suárez (Barajas) Airport, voted to undertake sporadic strike action over the Christmas period. Security staff at Spain’s busiest and Europe’s sixth busiest airport are due to undertake four one-hour strikes each day from 22 December 2017 through 08 January 2018. Strike action is due to occur between 0530-0630 hours, 1030-1130 hours, 1400-1500 hours, and 1900-2000 hours.
- Security staff at Madrid’s Adolfo Suárez (Barajas) Airport are due to strike between 22 December 2017 and 08 January 2018.
- Prosegur airport security workers are due to undertake four one-hour strikes each day.
- Iberia Airlines staff at Barcelona’s El Prat Airport are also due to strike.
Travel Information: On 29 November 2017, Prosegur staff, who provide security at Madrid’s Adolfo Suárez (Barajas) Airport, voted to undertake sporadic strike action over the Christmas period. Security staff at Spain’s busiest and Europe’s sixth busiest airport are due to undertake four one-hour strikes each day from 22 December 2017 through 08 January 2018. Strike action is due to occur between 0530-0630 hours, 1030-1130 hours, 1400-1500 hours, and 1900-2000 hours.
Security staff had decided to call off an initial wave of sporadic strikes which were due to take place between 29 November and 11 December 2017. However, during the meeting on 29 November 2017, 309 of the 331 security staff and 98 of the 103 auxiliary workers voted in favour of the strike. Staff are striking due to pay and working conditions.
Reports also suggest that workers for Iberia Airlines at Barcelona’s El Prat Airport will conduct similar sporadic strikes between 21 and 24 December 2017; and estimated 270,000 travellers are expected to be impacted, though the true impact will be unclear until the strike takes place. The striking workers also help provide baggage, billing, and aircraft maintenance services for Vueling, British Airways, and Aer Lingus, as well as Iberia.
2017 has been a year of transport strikes in Spain. In August, queues stretching across the concourses of Terminal One and Terminal Two of Barcelona’s El Prat Airport occurred after similar hour-long strikes; police were mobilised to take the place of striking security staff.
There remains hope that these strikes may be limited. Indeed, union representatives stated that they would be available to resume discussions. Prosegur have brought forward a lawsuit to judge on the legality of the strikes at Madrid’s Adolfo Suárez Airport.
These strikes are highly likely to lead to delays and excessive queuing at the airport. During similar strikes in August 2017 in Barcelona, travellers were advised by airlines to arrive at the airport at least three hours early, while queues at security points were reportedly two hours long.
Travellers are advised to immediately proceed to security points, reaching airside as soon as possible. Travellers should be prepared at security in order to limit delays (this includes removing belts, emptying pockets, and having liquids or computers out ready for screening). If possible, it would be advisable to limit hand luggage in order to minimise the time spent at security. Travellers are also advised to check-in before they reach the airport (this can usually be undertaken 24-hours in advance). Most importantly, travellers should contact their airline for regular updates on how their flights may be impacted.
Solace Global would not advise clients of the need to implement physical security measures when visiting Spain. However, travellers should consider employing a traveller tracking system with an integrated intelligence feed, to allow employers to effectively execute duty of care, and permit the traveller to remain up to date with potential threats.
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