Ryanair cabin crew in Spain, Portugal, Italy, Belgium and The Netherlands will be on strike on Friday, September 28 – and other countries may be joining in too, according to Spanish airline employees’ unions USO and SITCPLA.
Earlier this week, a strike by German-based Ryanair staff, including pilots, led to 44 flights to and from Spain being cancelled.
USO and SITCPLA say they are prepared to organise strikes as often as once a month if necessary unless and until the company agrees to negotiate.
Poor working conditions and pay, a refusal to recognise unions and disciplinary threats against staff involved in these, and a refusal to comply with employment law in each country it is based in are some of the accusations against Ryanair made by its workers and unions across Europe.
Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and Belgian cabin crew went on strike on July 25 and 26, and pilots in Germany and Ireland have done so since, with early-August strikes among Irish pilots causing havoc at the London-Stansted airport, where Ryanair has one of its biggest UK bases.
The low-cost carrier says it is ‘confident’ that the ‘vast majority’ of its cabin crew will continue to work as normal on September 28, ‘as has been the case during earlier industrial action’, and to this end, ‘disruption is expected to be minimal’.
The industrial action has led to staff threatened with being fired and warnings that bases in affected airports will be closed if they continue, USO and SITCPLA claim.
Both unions say this is effectively breaching employees’ right to strike, which is enshrined in law.
Managing director for marketing at Ryanair, Kenny Jacobs, says claims of ‘chaos’ within the company and in connection with air travel are ‘false and unfounded’, and considers the strike action so far this summer and planned for September to be ‘unnecessary’, but ‘limited’, and says flight disruption has been ‘minimal’.
He assures that ‘general travel disruption’ will not occur and there will be ‘no airline chaos’ on September 28.