Stoppages at the airports' cafés and restaurants on Friday were supported by 80% of the some 500 workers. Alejandro Tesias of the UGT says that a minimum service level of 25% (number of workers) had been set by the national ministry of development; only six of the 35 establishments were actually open between 13.00 and 15.00, which was when the stoppages occurred. Further action is due to be taken on 29 and 30 December.
The unions have criticised the Aena national airports authority for only being interested in maximising its profits from services such as cafés and restaurants. Aena doesn't think about "the effects this may have on the workers", who oppose the external contracting-out of services.
More disruptive to airport operations is planned industrial action against redundancies to be made by Acciona Handling. At least 300 workers face being made redundant by Acciona, which has been greatly affected by the loss of Air Berlin and Niki flights. Unions point to Aena's high operating fees also being a factor.
Meanwhile, the airport can anticipate being rather busier than last year over the festive period. Passenger numbers are due to be up by 6.5% between 26 December and 7 January - a total of around 760,000 passengers.