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INDUSTRIAL DISPUTE

New mediator appointed in Iberia pilots’ dispute

Jaime Montalvo is the former head of the Economic Social Council

Following the decision on Friday by pilots of national carrier Iberia to cancel bi-weekly work stoppages, the government has appointed Jaime Montalvo, the former head of the Economic Social Council, to act as a new mediator in the dispute between the airline and the pilots’ union, Sepla.

montalvo, a professor of labor law, will have 10 days to resolve the dispute between Iberia and its pilots. Both sides say that they accept Montalvo’s appointment, declining to make any further comment.

The pilots renewed strikes on April 9, and were to continue every Monday and Friday through to July 20. Sepla objects to the creation of a low-cost airline, Iberia Express, which was launched last month, saying it could lead to the loss of 8,000 jobs in the core carrier.

Pilots say the launch of Iberia Express contravenes deals struck when Iberia and British Airways merged to form International Airlines Group. IAG and Iberia say the new airline is the only way to make the loss-making Spanish unit profitable.