Europe

Spanish airport workers call off major strike

Iberia aircraft at Madrid's Barajas airport - 4 December 2010
Image caption The strikes would have caused major disruption to Spain's tourism industry at peak times

Airport workers in Spain have called off 22 days of strikes which threatened to cause major disruption over the Easter holidays and into the summer.

Union members voted to cancel the strike after receiving guarantees over job security and conditions.

The strikes were called over concerns about the part-privatisation of national airport operator Aena.

The government plans to sell up to 49% of Aena, in a drive to reduce Spain's budget deficit.

Workers had feared the sale of the company would result in job losses and a deterioration in conditions.

Union leaders said about 70% of their more than 10,000 members voted to call off the industrial action.

"The ratification of this deal means the cancellation of the call for 22 days of strikes planned on different days between April and August," said a statement from the CCOO union.

The strikes would have involved security staff, baggage handlers, ground crew and others at 47 Spanish airports.

It would have dealt a serious blow to Spain's tourism industry in the busy Easter and summer seasons.

Spain is seeing an increase in visitor numbers as tourists avoid trouble spots in the Middle East such as Egypt and Tunisia.

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