Spain's Iberia unions cancel pre-Christmas strikes

Labor unions representing a majority of workers in Spain's Iberia airline have called off six days of strikes they had planned to stage before the Christmas holiday period to protest the company's plan to lay off 4,500 workers.

The General Workers Union, Spain's largest, said Tuesday the unions cancelled the stoppages so as not to upset travelers even though they had yet to reach an agreement with the company over the layoffs.

The unions are to meet to decide on new protest action.

The stoppages by ground staff and cabin crews were to be held Dec. 14 and Dec. 17-21.

International Airlines Group, which groups together British Airways and Iberia, plans to cut 23 percent of the Spanish company's staff, saying it is fighting for survival.