Spanish air traffic controllers threaten to strike this weekend

The action could affect operations at El Prat in Barcelona and airports in Palma, Ibiza and Menorca  

Air traffic controllers at Spanish airports are threatening to take industrial action amid a dispute over irregular working patterns.

The action could affect operations on the east coast of Spain and the Balearics from the end of this week, namely at El Prat airport in Barcelona, as well as in Palma, Ibiza and Menorca.

The industrial action might affect the operation in Barcelona, Palma, Ibiza and Menorca from the end of this week —  Sorbis / Shutterstock <div id="widget-holder-"3"" class="kiwicom-new-widget"></div> 
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</script> Spanish air traffic controllers threaten to strike
The industrial action might affect operations in Barcelona, Palma, Ibiza and Menorca from the end of this week – Sorbis / Shutterstock

Staff are demanding changes in their timetable as well as more than one day off after a seven-day schedule. As controllers work in combinations of morning and night shifts, they can spend only a limited time with their families they say. They also claim that such conditions affect their health conditions, making them fatigued, which could prove deadly given the high-pressure nature of their job.

The workers have also expressed concerns that the conditions could cause accidents if staff become over-tired.

A representative from an assembly representing workers, Raul Tobaruela, told the Sun that staff could leave their posts from the end of this week unless their demands were met.

The staff demands changes in their timetable as well as more than one day off after seven-days schedule — Shutterstock <div id="widget-holder-"3"" class="kiwicom-new-widget"></div> 
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Air traffic control staff are demanding changes in their timetable as well as more than one day off after a seven-day schedule — Shutterstock

“Our conditions are far from being normal,” Tobaruela said.

“I can assure you that our working situation is the worst in the entire of Europe.

“We would not anticipate too many flights being cancelled but there could be huge delays because there will be staff shortages.”

The workers’ representatives are complaining that the group were currently being ignored by the air traffic service control provider, ENAIRE, and the Spanish government.

The industrial action could affect the holidays of many Britons, as around 2.8 million British holidaymakers visited the Balearics last year.