- Sepla and USO denounce the dismissal of at least 18 workers, a setback for labour rights that is inconceivable in 2024.
- The unions demand actions from the Spanish Government and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC) in response to the persecution of trade union freedom.
Madrid, January 5, 2023 – The Spanish Airline Pilots Union (Sepla) and the Workers’ Commissions Union (USO) have denounced the dismissal, to date, by Wamos Air, without prior notice, of 5 pilots and 13 cabin crew members for exercising their right to unionize and create a union section. For Sepla and USO, this frontal attack by Wamos Air on the labour rights of its employees demonstrates an unacceptable and regressive attitude by the airline, unbecoming of a democratic society in 2024. They have announced that they will offer full support to the workers and take all necessary measures, including legal actions, to defend them.
The layoffs took place on January 3, in the midst of the Christmas holidays, and were announced unexpectedly both to the pilots who were present at the formation of the Sepla company council at Wamos Air, as well as to 13 cabin crew members, one of whom is a significant union representative and 5 of whom were part of the USO candidacy in the airline.
According to Sepla president Óscar Sanguino, “we are facing an unprecedented case in 21st century Spain, and even more so under a progressive government.” Sanguino denounces a clear situation of abuse of power: “the executives of Wamos Air have used this power to persecute trade union freedom and eliminate the new union sections.” As Sanguino points out, “this is not only unacceptable, but it goes against the fundamental principles of labour rights.”
For the Flight Manager of USO-Sector Aéreo, Ernesto Iglesias, “Wamos Air is one of the few airlines that, to date, have remained for decades without worker representation and without a collective agreement, something residual and archaic in the sector. The company’s reaction to the call for elections cannot be to dismiss dozens of workers, dismissals that will be taken to court.”
The unions have requested immediate and forceful action from the Government to rectify this situation and ensure the protection of workers’ rights. “We will not stand idly by while the rights of pilots and cabin crew are trampled on. We will fight on every front to ensure that justice is done and trade union rights are respected,” add Sepla and USO.
Both unions have reaffirmed their commitment to defending the rights of all workers in the sector and demand responsibility from Wamos Air in its labour practices, as its belligerent attitude is severely damaging the reputation of the aviation sector.