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STRIKING OUT Tourist Centres Shut - Airport Strikes On Horizon

Tuesday August 22, 2017

STRIKING OUT Tourist Centres Shut - Airport Strikes On Horizon

It´s turning into The Summer Of Strikes on Lanzarote - as the island´s main visitor attractions remain closed indefinitely. Whilst Canarian airport workers have today vowed to join nationwide industrial action from September 15th for 25 days of walk outs staggered across the months until the end of December.

Taking, or announcing, industrial action during the peak summer months of course guarantees maximum impact and publicity - as Europe´s air traffic controllers will testify. But at a cost of maximum disruption too - creating a potentially damaging negative impression, as visitors are welcomed by picket lines and protests when trying to take in the island´s key cultural attractions. Or delays and cancellations when travelling to and from the island.

Currently, the strike at Lanzarote´s tourist centres remains unresolved after marathon talks yesterday - which continue today. Whilst it is still possible that the proposed airport action will be averted (as happened back in February), with key talks taking place at the end of August.

What the unions are ultimately seeking in both disputes is a bigger slice of the pie. Tourism has boomed in Spain and on Lanzarote over the last twenty years as visitor numbers have doubled - boosting the revenue and profits of airlines, AENA (the owner of Lanzarote´s airport) and the Cabildo alike (the ultimate owners of the Centres of Art, Culture and Tourism).

Over the same period, pay and conditions for many have deteriorated. The airport unions are seeking restoration of 100 jobs lost within Canarian airports over recent years - and 800 nationally. Whilst workers at the key tourist attractions are seeking the restoration of deductions from their salaries - which they claim were made illegally.   Objectives which arguably fly in the face of current economic orthodoxies - which demand ever expanding visitor numbers and revenue in tandem with staff ´rationalisations` to enhance profits.


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