MADRID - Ground staff and cabin crews at Spain's Iberia are beginning 15 days of strikes to protest plans to lay off 3,800 staff.
The company says the stoppages, to be staged over three weeks, will lead to more than 1,200 flight cancellations, including 236 on Monday.
A government decree on minimum services guarantees 90 per cent of long-haul flights, 61 per cent of medium-haul and 46 per cent of domestic flights.
Unions representing most Iberia workers, but not pilots, called the strikes between Feb. 18-22, March 4-8 and March 18-22.
The company says it has found seats on other flights for most of the 70,000 passengers affected.
Iberia, Lineas Aereas de Espana S.A., claims economic difficulties oblige it to make layoffs.
Iberia is linked with British Airways in International Airlines Group.