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Spanish government warns controllers off sickies

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Spanish government warns controllers off sickies

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Air traffic controllers in Barcelona have disrupted many flights in the whole of southern Europe with their own industrial action, reporting in sick. Over 30 percent were off on Wednesday, and the Spanish government is warning it will ask the air force to replace them if they do not go back to work.

Since February, when Madrid took the axe to controller’s pay and benefits, the two sides have been locked in dispute.

“We are willing to train the military controllers immediately so they could work if it is necessary,” said Development minister José Blanco.

Some officers say the air force is not ready to take over the civil skies, while the Commercial Pilot’s Association says it is against the idea. The government says it will provide full training before the end of the month.