Union Sindical Obrera (USO) and the Spanish Union of Airline Pilots (Sepla) have denounced the dismissal of 18 workers from the airline Wamos Air who were planning to create a union section.

These workers, five pilots and 13 cabin crew (TCP), have been fired “without prior notice” for “exercising their right to unionize,” as stated in a statement.

Sepla and USO classify these dismissals as a “frontal attack” by the company on the labor rights of employees, with an “unacceptable and retrograde attitude of the airline, inappropriate for a democratic society in 2024.”

These layoffs occurred on January 3. The five pilots were present at the formation of the Sepla union section at the airline, while one of the 13 TCPs is a significant union representative and five were part of the USO candidacy at the airline.

The president of Sepla, ├ôscar Sanguino, has stressed that this is “an unprecedented case in 21st century Spain” and a situation of “abuse of power.”

In this sense, it points out that the airline’s managers, “under the delegation granted by the State Aviation Safety Agency (AESA), have used this power to pursue freedom of association and eliminate new union sections.” Thus, he considers that “it goes against the fundamental principles of labor rights.”

For the head of Flight at USO-Air Sector, Ernesto Iglesias, Wamos Air is “one of the few airlines” that have remained for decades without worker representation and without a collective agreement, “something residual and archaic in the sector.”

The unions have requested “immediate and forceful” action by the Government and AESA to rectify this situation and guarantee the protection of workers’ rights.

“We will not stand by while the rights of pilots and cabin crew are trampled. We will fight on every front to ensure that justice is done and union rights are respected,” added Sepla and USO.

Both unions have reaffirmed their commitment to defending the rights of all workers in the sector and demanding that Wamos Air be responsible for its labor practices, “since with its belligerent attitude it is seriously damaging the reputation of the airline sector.”