Spanish airline, Iberia, has defended its decision to cut some 4,500 jobs as being essential for its survival.
The firm’s parent company International Airlines Group says the carrier is losing money in all its markets and going through nearly two million euros every day.
Iberia’s CEO Rafael Sanchez-Lozano said the outcome is going to be tough for everyone: “We are asking the unions to negotiate a plan that will require lots of sacrifices for all of us but will allow us to have a viable future and be profitable again like we were in the past.”
But IAG’s plans to cut a quarter of Iberia’s workforce have been met with an angry response in Spain where the two biggest general unions immediately threatened strike action.
Francisco Rodriguez, UGT Union’s Air Sector Secretary described the plan as “non-negotiable.”
“This is a radical plan that can only deserve a radical answer. That’s all we have to say.”
IAG, which was formed by last year’s merger of British Airways and Iberia, has been battling competition from low-cost airlines and high-speed trains as well as labour disputes and Spain’s deep economic crisis.