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The Spanish ministry of transport has decreed minimum services of between 22% and 80% during the Vueling strike that begins this Tuesday, November 1st, coinciding with Tots Sants, the All Saints' Day in Catalonia and throughout the Spanish state. At the moment, the airline has confirmed the cancellation of 25 flights scheduled for November 1st at Barcelona-El Prat airport, on the first day of the cabin crew strike. The stoppage, called by the Stavla union, begins this November 1st and is expected to last until January 31st, 2023. The strike call affects all Fridays, Sundays and Mondays included during this three month period, as well as several days on or just preceding public holidays: December 6th 8th, 24th and 31st and January 5th. The ministry has explained that the decree of essential services "aims to reconcile the general interest of the public and in particular their mobility needs, with the right to strike of this group of workers", who want to achieve a salary update of 13.4% for 2022.

Minimum services during the Vueling strike

The Spanish transport ministry has decreed minimum services for the Vueling strike which range from 57% to 80% for routes that are not internal Iberian peninsular routes during the month of November, depending on the airport. As for December and January, essential services will be similar, while on Christmas-period strike days the figure may increase. With reference to flights between Spanish cities where there is an alternative transport route that takes more than five hours, the ministry has affirmed that there between 34% and 59% of flights will be protected during the cabin crew strike. As for domestic flights where an alternative means of transport of less than five hours is available, they will have minimum services between 22% and 32%. The ministry has recalled that it is up to the airline to establish the flights which are subject to the percentages of these minimum services.

At the moment, Vueling has reported that this Tuesday, the first day of the strike, 84% of scheduled flights will operate at El Prat airport. Specifically, of the 156 planned routes, 25 have been cancelled. As for the rest of the Spanish state, the airline has announced that it plans to operate 92% of the scheduled flights, 173 of the 189 confirmed flights. According to figures from the Ministry of Transport, nearly 2,250 company workers are on strike.

Unions will extend the strike if no agreement is reached

The union announced in a statement that it intends to extend the strike call "indefinitely" if it fails to reach an agreement with the airline before January 31st, 2023. Stavla, the majority union among Vueling passenger cabin crew has called airline workers to strike on all Fridays, Sundays and Mondays from the start of November to January 31st, 2023, in addition to November 1st; December 6th, 8th, 24th and 31st; and January 5th. "The aim of the strike is to achieve a salary update of 13.4% for the year 2022," they explained in a statement. With this increase, the union wants to "adapt the salary levels of the collective agreement to the current cost of living". "Cabin crew members cannot continue to be immersed in the precarious salary situation they are in, while the company prolongs the negotiation of the collective agreement", they assert.

For its part, Vueling has assured this Tuesday that, since April, they have been working on the negotiation of the fourth collective agreement with the cabin crew with the "maximum desire to continue moving forward to reach agreements that combine the needs of all". That is why Vueling has urged Stavla to call off the strike and "to commit to dialogue before social confrontation".