Deal bid to avert Spanish airport strikes

The state-owned company which runs Spain's airports has reached a preliminary agreement with unions that have called 22 days of strikes during peak holiday seasons in protest at plans to privatise half the firm.

The pact would guarantee workers' jobs and current working conditions once the government proceeds with plans to privatise part of AENA.

The agreement reached early today after a marathon negotiating session still needs to be approved by rank-and-file union members who called the strikes last week.

Unions feared wage and other benefit cuts once private investors take a stake in AENA.

The unions planned a series of rolling strikes starting on April 20, and including Easter Sunday, and then on other days in the summer.