After several negotiations between the Airport Unions, AENA, Enaire and the Ministry of Infrastructure, the final decision is up to the Tax Authorities.
The Tax Authorities, known as La Hacienda, are the ones who finally can decide wether or not to accept the staffing and salaries demands requested by airport employees, but they make decisons without coming to the negotiations table.
Airport staff have lost up to 8% spending power over the last years due to inflation and higher taxes. The unions have asked for a 7% rise in their salary and also demanded that more staff should be hired with a permanent contract. The increased air traffic in Spain is the main reason more staff is needed.
Hacienda has argued that they don’t want to establish salary differences between airport workers and workers in other public sectors. Both Aena and Enaire, that are managing the Spanish airports, are part of the public sector, thus the salaries and the size of the workforce depends on the decision of the Hacienda. Hacienda fears that if an exception is made now, a precedent is made for other public sectors.
To this argument the unions, backed by the managers of the Aena group, respond that Aena deserves the exception for its good results and that they have distributed dividends to the shareholders (AENA is a listed company) and have lowered the airport fees paid by the airlines. Following this reasoning, the unionists argue that the employees are the only ones not benefiting from the earned surplus of the company.
Strikes have been placed on hold while the negotiations are continuing throughout September, but the unions are aware that any deal made with Aena has to be approved by the tax autohrities. Unless negotiations break down, the announced strikes will not be initiated.
Background: This is the spanish airport strike