Strike averted in time for WYD2011

Strikes across Spain coinciding with the Pope’s visit to World Youth Day have been averted after a baggage handling company agreed to reinstate four workers who had been made redundant.

It was reported yesterday  that unions representing Spanish airport ground crew had called strikes to coincide with Pope Benedict XVI’s four-day visit to the Spanish capital next week for WYD2011.

Three unions representing 60,000 check-in staff, baggage handlers and other ground workers – CCOO, UGT and USO – said they planned 24-hour strikes for August 18, the day the pope is set to arrive in Madrid, and again on August 26.

However members of the General Workers Union employed by Madrid’s Metro subway system are still intending to strike over salary negotiations and cuts to their wages as part of government austerity measures.

The Union leaders told Europa Press they had been forced to take the action due to the “failure to implement salary raises agreed to in a collective agreement for 2011 and the breakdown of collective bargaining.”

A spokesman for Madrid Metro, Ignacio Gonzalez Velayos, however promised the subways would operate “normally” during Benedict’s visit.

“The Community of Madrid will ensure a minimum of transportation services are available during those days, and of course all those who come to visit the Pope are going to have public transportation and the Metro will be operating completely as normal,” he said.

More than one million faithful are expected to flock to the Spanish capital for the Roman Catholic Church’s youth festivities.


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