Strikes had been due to start from 15 September. Numerous airport operations would be affected. | Teresa Ayuga


Negotiations between the national ministry of development, Aena, the government's Enaire company and unions are edging towards a possible resolution of the dispute over pay and jobs. At the meeting last week there was an agreement to suspend strike action, which was due to start on 15 September and involve all airports in the Aena Spanish airport network.

The secretary of state for transport, Julio Gómez-Pomar, asked the unions - CCOO, UGT and USO - for a "truce". The government, he explained, needs more time to respond to the demands of the workforce. The general secretary of the CCOO at Aena, Francisco Casado, said that the government was receptive to these demands, noting that Gómez-Pomar believes that they are appropriate.

The government is willing to consider the unions' calls for an increase to the workforce, an increase in pay, improved working conditions and an extension of the collective bargaining agreement. Gómez-Pomar pointed out that for the ministry to arrive at a satisfactory settlement it will need time. This is because other ministries are involved, not least the finance ministry, which is the one that controls public sector pay in line with budgetary stability requirements.

Gómez-Pomar added that the unions haven't yet formally submitted the strike call and is therefore hopeful that continuing negotiations will be satisfactory. A further meeting is scheduled for Thursday this week.