RYANAIR CABIN CREW TO STRIKE

Staff in Spain and three other coun­tries will strike on July 25 and 26

Costa Blanca News (North Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - By James Parkes

RYANAIR pas­sen­gers' worst fears were con­firmed yes­ter­day (Thurs­day) as unions rep­re­sent­ing cabin crew an­nounced strikes in Spain, Bel­gium, Italy and France have been called on July 25 and 26.

Cabin crew say their de­mands have been ig­nored by the low-cost air­line leav­ing them with in­dus­trial ac­tion as the only way to force Ryanair man­age­ment to ac­knowl­edge their unions and de­mands, that in­clude im­prov­ing econ- omic and safety con­di­tions and ros­ter­ing and work­place cul­ture, re­duc­ing agency em­ploy­ment and giv­ing staff the right to sick pay.

But a key de­mand is that em­ploy­ment con­tracts ex­plic­itly recog­nise na­tional law and ju­ris­dic­tion in the coun­try a worker is based.

Strikes will have a di­rect im­pact on around 115,000 pas­sen­gers daily in Spain - and will jeop­ar­dise thou­sands of sum­mer hol­i­day plans.

The strikes in in­di­vid­ual coun­tries were called af­ter a Europewide strike was dis­carded on Wed­nes­day due to dif­fer­ent strike leg­is­la­tions ap­plied in each coun­try; hence, strikes have been called by the in­di­vid­ual unions in each coun­try, namely: Sitc­pla (Spain) Sn­pvac (Por­tu­gal), Uil­trasport (Italy) and Cner-Lbc (Bel­gium).

Ryanair cabin crew are backed by the In­ter­na­tional Trans­port Work­ers’ Fed­er­a­tion (ITF).

An ITF rep­re­sen­ta­tive said it was up to in­di­vid­ual unions in each coun­try to act if the de­mands were not met.

If the ma­jor­ity of cabin crew join the in­dus­trial ac­tion, the ef­fect at air­ports through­out Eu­rope could be chaotic - as the air­line op­er­ates 2,000 flights to 37 coun­tries daily.

Ac­cord­ing to its web­site, Ryanair has flights from Ali­cante to 60 dif­fer­ent air­ports - 17 in the UK.

The air­line em­ploys, di­rectly or via em­ploy­ment agen­cies, 1,700 cabin crew staff and 700 pilots in Spain - mak­ing it the sec­ond coun­try with the largest num­ber of Ryanair staff.

The strike threat was first made in April and Ryanair bosses were given a June 30 dead­line to sit down and dis­cuss the is­sues - unions says their de­mands have been ig­nored.

Ryanair has re­garded the de­mands as 'point­less', list­ing ben­e­fits it said crew al­ready en­joyed. A com­pany spokesper­son said, “Ryanair is al­ready en­gaged in ex­ten­sive ne­go­ti­a­tions with na­tional cabin crew unions across Eu­rope dur­ing which all of these, and other is­sues, are be­ing ne­go­ti­ated and we have al­ready con­cluded agree­ments in the UK and Italy”.

On Mon­day, Ryanair pilots em­ployed di­rectly by the com­pany in Dublin (100 out of the 300 based in the Ir­ish cap­i­tal, the ma­jor­ity be­ing cap­tains) voted in favour of walk­out on July 12.

The ac­tion will mainly af­fect flights to and from Ir­ish air­ports, but a knock-on ef­fect could see de­lays in other flights.

ATC strike averted

Wide­spread air­port chaos in Spain had been averted ear­lier in the week af­ter air traf­fic con­trol com­pany Enaire and unions signed an agree­ment that de­fused the strike threat made last week.

The deal to in­crease staff lev­els by 21% un­til 2025 has to be rat­i­fied by the gov­ern­ment (in charge of Enaire) and unions, but it en­sure a calm sum­mer as far as Span­ish air traf­fic con­trol goes.

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