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Spanish airport workers to strike

MADRID, March 25 – Air traffic controllers, firefighters and other workers at Spain\’s 47 state-owned airports will stage a one-hour strike on Wednesday to protest privatisation plans, their union said.

The strike, between 9:00 am and 10:00 am (0800 GMT and 0900 GMT), was a "first warning" to the government of Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Spain\’s largest trade union, CCOO, said in a statement.

The action is to protest the government\’s plan to to partially privatise Spain\’s airport operator AENA.

The union statement argued there was no need to privatise a public "that is the most efficient in Europe."

AENA said it would guarantee minimum services during the work stoppage, which will also include workers from Spain\’s other main trade union, the UGT.

Spain\’s socialist government announced plans in August 2008 to privatize about 30 percent of AENA.

Last year, 203.8 million passengers passed through AENA airports, 3.2 percent down on the previous year.

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