International Consolidated Airlines Group, the parent of British Airways, has reached an agreement with union leaders to end crippling strikes at its Spanish carrier Iberia.
The agreement comes just days after a mediator proposed IAG trim its planned job cuts at Iberia to just over 3,100 from an original target of 3,800. Strikes called for the week beginning 18 March have been cancelled, union leaders have told Reuters.
"IAG notes that, further to its acceptance of the mediator's proposal regarding Iberia, unions representing the majority of Iberia's employees have also agreed to accept the proposal," the company said on its website.
Iberia workers staged a second wave of three five-day work stoppages last week that grounded nearly 500 flights and threatened to spill-over into the lucrative Easter and spring term holiday travel season. The Labour union UGT estimated that as many as 8,000 workers took part in the strike.
IAG, formed in 2011 with the merger of British Airways and Iberia Airlines, went ahead with plans for a collective redundancy of 3,807 Iberia staff last month as part of what it calls a "transformation plan" announced last November after the division posted an operating loss of €262m in the nine months ending in October.
The plan called for a reduction in fleet capacity by 25 planes this year and a further 15 percent next year along with wage reductions and the suspension of unprofitable routes.
"Iberia continues to cause concern and we are announcing today a restructuring plan to introduce permanent structural change across the airline," CEO Willie Walsh said at the time of the plan's release. "Iberia is in a fight for survival and we will transform it to reduce its cost base so it can grow profitably in the future."
The six union groups representing Iberia's 20,000 staff had rejected a 31 January deadline to agree to the IAG plan and instead offered a counter-proposal that limited job cuts 3,147.
IAG shares are trading 0.7 percent higher in London Wednesday, changing hands at 259.1 pence each. The shares have risen 54 percent since the group unveiled the plan for Iberia on 9 November.
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