Unions for Iberia staff have launched a scathing attack on Willie Walsh as the first round of strikes ends.
The International Transport Workers' Federation said Walsh, CEO of Iberia's parent IAG, has turned not just the entire airline against him but "it looks like, an entire country against him".
Speaking from the International Labour Organisation aviation global dialogue forum in Geneva, ITF civil aviation secretary Gabriel Mocho said: "As a strike this is undoubtedly a success, but it's a strike Iberia's workers didn't want. Both the airline and the unions were working on a plan that would safeguard jobs and profitability. Its failure can be laid at Willie Walsh's door.
"It is clear that Willie Walsh clamped down on local management to doom any chance of a negotiated plan. In doing so he has singlehandedly turned not just an entire airline, but, it looks like, an entire country against him. He has caused internal wounds within IAG from which it may never wholly recover."
Violent anti-British clashes broke out at Spanish airports last week leading to hundreds of protesters being charged by police.
Riot police were drafted in as protesters waved Spanish flags and banners saying 'British go home' and 'No layoffs in Iberia, stop the British colonisation'.
Iberia workers, including baggage handlers and cabin crew, protested inside Madrid Barajas airport and at other Spanish airports over job cuts.
Five days of strikes last week affected 70,000 passengers. Two further strikes are planned for March 4 to 8 and March 18 to 22.
Staff are protesting against the loss of 4,500 jobs and salary cuts.
The Spanish airline merged with British Airways in 2011 to form the International Airlines Group.
Monday, February 25, 2013