Workers and police clash at airport during Iberia strike

Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:04am EST
 
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MADRID (Reuters) - Striking union workers clashed with police at Madrid's Barajas airport on Monday on the first day of a week-long strike over more than 3,800 pending job cuts at Spain's flagship airline Iberia.

Hundreds of workers demonstrated outside Barajas, Iberia's hub, and inside the airport's Terminal 4 where they carried out a sit-in and chanted and whistled.

Outside the terminal police beat some strikers with truncheons.

Staff, including baggage handlers and air stewards, are holding three five-day strikes in February and March to protest management plans to axe jobs and cut salaries at the loss-making airline.

More than 80 Iberia flights were canceled on Monday as workers at the carrier began the series of strikes that is expected to cost the airline and struggling national economy millions of euros in lost business.

(Reporting by Catherine MacDonald, Robert Hetz and Silvio Castellanos, writing by Clare Kane and Sarah Morris, Editing by Angus MacSwan)