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Weekend strike at Barcelona’s El Prat airport could affect 1,000 flights

Those flying in or out of Barcelona’s El Prat airport over the weekend should prepare themselves for delays and cancellations as Iberia ground staff down tools over working conditions.

Weekend strike at Barcelona’s El Prat airport could affect 1,000 flights
Photo: AFP

The two day strike action is planned for Saturday 27th July and Sunday 28th July and will affect more than just Iberia flights as ground staff at BCN service 27 airlines companies that fly through the airport.

Spain’s Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure has established minimum services for the strike ensuring that all domestic flights between the mainland and islands will be running.

But it only demands that 54 percent of international flights and 32 percent of flights between domestic destinations less than five hours away by road will be running.

Authorities estimate that around 1000 flights could be cancelled or delayed.

Iberia put out the following statement: 

“Due to the strike that is to be held by Iberia Staff in Barcelona airport (BCN) planned for 27 and 28 July 2019, customers with an Iberia operated 075 ticketed issued by 25th July to or from Barcelona who wish to move their departure away from the days of the strike, may rebook to an alternative date between 25th July to 4th August, 2019.”

Those booked on Iberia flights with queries can call 901 111 500 open 24 hours a day and check your flight status HERE

Those booked with other airlines flying through El Prat this weekend should be aware that their flights are also likely to be affected and should check the airport flight status HERE as well as the individual airline.

Last minute negotations between unions representing the 2,700 Iberia groundstaff at El Prat and company representatives stalled on Thursday.

Staff complain that they are overworked and that an agreement struck last year to end similar strike action has not been met.

What to do if your flight is cancelled or delayed

Passeners have certain rights when it comes to flight disruptions caused by industrial action. Spain's consumer association FACUA  outlines that airline authorties must issue vouchers for food and drink sufficiently required throughout the delay. They must also provide hotel accomodation if the flight is delayed overnight.

If your flight is cancelled you could be entitled to compensation under EU regulations which set compensation at €250 for a journey of up to 1,500km rising to €600 for journeyts over 3,500 km.

That compensation may also be payable on top of reimbursement of the costs caused by the delay or cancellations such as car hire or hotel bookings.

Javier López, Marketing Director of Reclamaciondevuelos.com, explains: “The airlines are obliged to cover the expenses derived from these incidents such as cancellations of accommodation at the destination, loss of car rental and other disbursements related to the trip that could not be enjoyed.” 

He said that in some cases, the traveller may be entitled to claim for damages such as loss of vacation days or loss of earnings if it was a work trip that was affected. 

 

 

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IN IMAGES: Spain’s ‘scrap cathedral’ lives on after creator’s death

For over 60 years, former monk Justo Gallego almost single-handedly built a cathedral out of scrap materials on the outskirts of Madrid. Here is a picture-based ode to his remarkable labour of love.

IN IMAGES: Spain's 'scrap cathedral' lives on after creator's death
File photo taken on August 3, 1999 shows Justo Gallego Martinez, then 73, posing in front of his cathedral. Photo: ERIC CABANIS / AFP

The 96-year-old died over the weekend, but left the unfinished complex in Mejorada del Campo to a charity run by a priest that has vowed to complete his labour of love.

Gallego began the project in 1961 when he was in his mid-30s on land inherited from his family after a bout of tuberculosis forced him to leave an order of Trappist monks.

Today, the “Cathedral of Justo” features a crypt, two cloisters and 12 towers spread over 4,700 square metres (50,600 square feet), although the central dome still does not have a cover.

He used bricks, wood and other material scavenged from old building sites, as well as through donations that began to arrive once the project became better known.

A woman prays at the Cathedral of Justo on November 26, 2021. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
A woman prays at the Cathedral of Justo on November 26, 2021. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
 

The building’s pillars are made from stacked oil drums while windows have been cobbled and glued together from shards of coloured glass.

“Recycling is fashionable now, but he used it 60 years ago when nobody talked about it,” said Juan Carlos Arroyo, an engineer and architect with engineering firm Calter.

Men work at the Cathedral of Justo on November 26, 2021 in Mejorada del Campo, 20km east of Madrid.
Men work at the Cathedral of Justo on November 26, 2021 in Mejorada del Campo, 20km east of Madrid. Photo: (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)

The charity that is taking over the project, “Messengers of Peace”, hired the firm to assess the structural soundness of the building, which lacks a permit.

No blueprint

“The structure has withstood significant weather events throughout its construction,” Arroyo told AFP, predicting it will only need some “small surgical interventions”.

Renowned British architect Norman Foster visited the site in 2009 — when he came to Spain to collect a prize — telling Gallego that he should be the one getting the award, Arroyo added.

Religious murals on a walls of Justo's cathedral. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
Religious murals on a walls of Justo’s cathedral. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
 

The sturdiness of the project is surprising given that Gallego had no formal training as a builder, and he worked without a blueprint.

In interviews, he repeatedly said that the details for the cathedral were “in his head” and “it all comes from above”.

Builders work on the dome of the Cathedral of Justo on November 26th. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
Builders work on the dome of the Cathedral of Justo on November 26th. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
 

The complex stands in a street called Avenida Antoni Gaudi, named after the architect behind Barcelona’s iconic Sagrada Familia basilica which has been under construction since 1883.

But unlike the Sagrada Familia, the Cathedral of Justo Gallego as it is known is not recognised by the Roman Catholic Church as a place of worship.

Visit gaze at the stained glass and busts in of the cathedral's completed sections. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
Visit gaze at the stained glass and busts in of the cathedral’s completed sections. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
 

‘Worth visiting’

Father Angel Garcia Rodriguez, the maverick priest who heads Messengers of Peace, wants to turn Gallego’s building into an inclusive space for all faiths and one that is used to help the poor.

“There are already too many cathedrals and too many churches, that sometimes lack people,” he said.

“It will not be a typical cathedral, but a social centre where people can come to pray or if they are facing difficulties,” he added.

A photo of Justo Gallego Martinez on display at his cathedral following his passing. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
A photo of Justo Gallego Martinez on display at his cathedral following his passing. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
 

Father Angel is famous in Spain for running a restaurant offering meals to the homeless and for running a church in central Madrid where pets are welcome and the faithful can confess via iPad.

Inside the Cathedral of Justo, volunteers continued working on the structure while a steady stream of visitors walked around the grounds admiring the building in the nondescript suburb.

“If the means are put in, especially materials and money, to finish it, then it will be a very beautiful place of worship,” said Ramon Calvo, 74, who was visiting the grounds with friends.

FIND OUT MORE: How to get to Justo’s Cathedral and more amazing images

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