Spanish airline Iberia presents plan to lay off 3,800 workers a week ahead of first strikes

Spanish airline Iberia has presented a plan to cut almost a fifth of its workforce nearly a week ahead of a first round of strikes by labor unions opposing the plan.

Iberia, Lineas Aereas de Espana S.A., said Tuesday its losses totaled €850 million between 2008 and September 2012 and this obliged it to take drastic action.

International Airlines Group, which includes British Airways and Iberia, first announced the layoffs last year, but without providing much detail. It said then that Iberia was "in a fight for survival."

Unions representing most Iberia workers, but not pilots, called 15 days of strikes beginning Feb. 18 after lengthy negotiations with the company failed to produce agreement.

Spain is in its second recession in three years and has 26 percent unemployment.