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NEW: Ryanair Cabin Crew in Five Countries Threaten Strike Action in Late September

NEW: Ryanair Cabin Crew in Five Countries Threaten Strike Action in Late September

NEW: Ryanair Cabin Crew in Five Countries Threaten Strike Action in Late September

Seven trade unions representing Ryanair cabin crew in five countries have today announced plans for a possible strike in late September.  The news was announced following a meeting between the unions in Rome as they discussed an ongoing dispute over pay and conditions for cabin crew at the airline.

In a statement, reported by Reuters, the trade unions representing crew in Italy, Portugal, Belgium, Spain, and The Netherlands said they would hold a further meeting on 13th September, at which point a final decision along with possible strike dates would be made.

Cabin crew unions across Europe have been demanding Ryanair improve the wages and working conditions for staff after the airline eventually agreed to recognise unions for the first time late last year.  A previous two-day strike by workers in Belgium, Spain and Portugal forced Ryanair to cancel around 20% of all flights across its European network.

Ryanair cabin crew have already held a two-day strike in several countries earlier this year. Photo Credit: ITF
Ryanair cabin crew have already held a two-day strike in several countries earlier this year. Photo Credit: ITF

At a historic cabin crew summit held in Dublin in early July, unions met to agree a Ryanair Crew Charter which clearly laid out their demands.  Key points included increased pay, better working hours, the end of agency staff and guaranteed sick pay.  Ryanair later dismissed the charter as “pointless”.

Over the last few weeks, Ryanair has had some success with negotiating with unions – the airline has managed to hammer out its very first collective labour agreements with pilots in both Italy and Ireland.  The latter deal only came after pilots staged days of strikes and weathered the threat of the airline moving aircraft from its Dublin base to a Polisubsidiaryary.

Following the ratification of the labour agreement, Ryanair has since voted at its annual general meeting to “restore” the six aircraft earmarked for transfer back to the Dublin base.  If the move had gone ahead, Ryanair had estimated that around 300 pilots and cabin crew would be in line for redundancy.

Earlier this week, the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) called on Ryanair’s long-standing Chairman David Bonderman to step down, calling the culture at Ryanair “vehemently anti-union”.  Bonderman continues in his role having secured support at the budget airline’s AGM.


The Ryanair Crew Charter:

Economic conditions

  • A fair living wage that reflects the work we do
  • Seniority pay
  • Compensation for disruptive schedules and last minute duty changes
  • End all the extra costs that we incur on our job- like water, food, uniforms, calling crew control
  • Parity in living standards across bases
  • Unpaid leave
  • A fair, universal pension scheme

Safety and rostering

  • Training on FTLs
  • Stability on rosters
  • Predictable working hours
  • Preserving minimum rest periods in line with EASA regulation

Work culture

  • Fair system for base transfers, promotion and disciplinaries- it should not be based on sales
  • Advance warning on changes in operations like base closure
  • Easier access to crew control
  • Prioritise seniority and safety
  • Not being forced to open an Irish bank account

Agency employment

  • Equity in standards across employers
  • Fixed period for agency employment
  • Towards the abolition of agency employment

National contracts

  • Employment contracts of all crew must explicitly recognise that national law and jurisdiction In the country of the home base applies
  • The employment contract must be available in the language crew requires

Sick pay

  • Sick pay
  • No pay deduction
  • Easier process for reporting sick (translation, calling crew control, report at base,
    fax)
  • End the pressure

Sales targets

  • No individual sales commission- crew should not compete with each other
  • Sales commission divided by four cabin crew
  • Should not be the basis for promotions/ transfers/ disciplinaries

Ground staff

  • A fair living wage that reflects the work we do
  • Better working conditions at least in line with the average of the ground handling
    sector
  • Reduction in the yearly hours of work
  • Develop and implement a health and safety policy with consultation from our trade union
  • Transfers on to permanent contracts
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