On December 3, 2010 air traffic controllers in Spain went on strike. The strike was a result of Spanish government allowing air traffic controllers to exceed the total number of hours allowed by law. To stop the strike, the government declared martial law over civil air traffic controllers, hence the maximum working hours would no longer apply. The military supervised the workers and forced them to return from strike.
During the strike, according to the government, between 70 and 90 percent of the air traffic controllers abandoned their jobs. In response to the workers movement, the Deputy Prime Minister of Spain, Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba, announced on December 4th a state of emergency and ordered intervention by military forces. During this 48 hours, work at the airport in Madrid and other airports in the country was suspended, causing cancellation of 4,300 flights and affecting approximately 600,000 passengers.
Under the command of colonels of the Air Force, AENA reported that the controllers began to return to their jobs at the different airports. With only 16 of the 296 controllers missing, 412 flights were able to be operated out of the 4300 that were planned, and the next day, all the airports returned to their regular operation.
After these events, national courts found about 15,000 administrative complaints by passengers against Aena. About 10,000 euros were estimated in damages per person. Many cases were won but the Central Court eventually began to reject them with express condemnation to pay court costs.
If you were affected by the strike and sustained monetary losses as a result – you may have a claim. Please contact our attorneys to by filling out the form.