As yet, the dates are not known, but unions say they will release them before September 13, or next Thursday.
Cabin crew and ground staff in Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Italy, Sweden, The Netherlands and Germany will all down tools at the same time, which means unions need to be clear on the strike requirements set by the laws of each country to enable the industrial action to be simultaneous.
They have warned passengers and the company that they will suffer ‘huge inconvenience’ as a result of the strike, which they say they ‘have no choice’ but to effect, according to a press release from Italian unions Filt CGIL and Ultrasporti.
This drastic action is in response to the Irish low-cost carrier ‘causing great inconvenience’ to ‘all European staff’, including ‘blocking their freedom to associate with a union’, ‘not recognising salary and assistance rights’ and ‘using flight personnel recruited by foreign agencies’.
As a result, the situation is creating ‘unfair wage competition’ across Europe and ‘a jungle of rules which are not acceptable within the European Union’.
Filt CGIL and Ultrasporti have called for the airline to ‘listen and respond to staff’s legitimate requests’ and set up a ‘fair collective working conditions agreement’ which ‘recognises all workers’ rights’.
Spanish union USO says the strike action decision has come after the company ‘repeatedly ignored, after months of meetings and negotiations’ to comply with employment laws in each of the countries in which it operates.
USO says instead, Ryanair has ‘continued with its policies of bullying staff’ which have been ‘its stamp for decades’ in terms of the way it treats its employees.
The union claims the airline has recently sent workers a ‘series of intimidating letters’ because of their having ‘exercised their legal right to strike’, and threatening them with not paying their assistance allowance for the strike days – something they can only legally withhold in the event of an absence at work without proper proof, such as a medical certificate.
Although USO says it is aware that the ongoing strikes are causing problems for travellers, they are ‘necessary’ to ‘nip the problems in the bud’ so that in future, the company will ‘comply with customer and employment legislation’.
The last Ryanair strike in Spain, on July 25 and 26 – which also took place in Portugal, Italy and Belgium – affected over 100,000 passengers, whilst the pilot strike in Ireland, Sweden, Belgium, Germany and The Netherlands caused problems for over 55,000 travellers and led to nearly 400 flights being cancelled, leading to chaos in airports across northern Europe, particularly at London Stansted, one of Ryanair’s busiest.