It seems that the fight between the Ryanair unions and the board has only just begun. After a few months of June and July marked by stoppages at airports, USO and Sitcpla, two Ryanair cabin crew unions, have called a strike that will last five months. It will run from August 8 to January 7, 2023.
The strike days will take place every week, from Monday to Thursday, and will last 24 hours, sources from the Workers’ Union (USO) have informed Euronews. In this recent call, one of the new demands is the immediate reinstatement of the 11 workers fired for carrying out the strike this July.
“We are seeing a trickle of layoffs almost daily. Last week he was the tenth worker and yesterday another colleague from Barcelona who had been in the company for 12 years”, maintain these same union sources. In addition, they ask that sanctioning files be paralyzed against almost 100 workers who followed the stoppages.
“They are using it as a way to intimidate the squad. It is their way of warning workers to be careful about going on strike,” says the union spokeswoman.
Despite the situation, the company refuses to sit down with the unions. “There has not yet been any kind of approach on their part,” they denounce from USO. The balance left by 18 days of unemployment since the beginning of the summer amounts to 310 cancellations and around 3,455 delays in the 10 Ryanair bases in Spain. “Even with all the obstacles there has been between 35% and 40% of the strike’s follow-up.”
The new call will mainly affect the airports of Madrid-Barajas, Barcelona, Malaga, Alicante, Seville and Palma de Mallorca. Although both national and international connections will be interrupted.
The demands of the workers to the low cost airline go through “applying basic labor rights” in the words of the union. A few months ago, Ryanair left the negotiation with USO and Sitcpla to agree on an agreement with CC OO, another of the unions. Only workers affiliated to this last union will be able to benefit from the conditions of the agreement, something that USO does not consider acceptable. This is when the strike broke out.
What they ask is that the Spanish labor legislation be applied in terms of breaks, that the 14 public holidays that Spanish workers have come into force, instead of the 9 that the company has, and the brake on subcontracting through from employment agencies such as Workforce and Crewlink under Irish law.
In addition, they demand a salary increase to return to the levels they had before the pandemic. At the beginning of the pandemic there was a substantial salary reduction in the workforce due to the stoppage situation that all the airlines experienced and the unions point out that the salary of the employees has not recovered.
To this is added the claim of the group that only charges for hours flown. For them, the unions ask that they have at least the minimum interprofessional salary as a base salary.
The position of the company
In his latest statements, the CEO of Ryanair, Eddie Wilson, assured that “the impact of the strike is minimal, it affects Spain’s reputation more.” A few words that the workers reject.
“The flight crew receive the support of the passengers, they understand their reasons even if it is a nuisance that their flight is canceled,” union sources say. “They have the solution in hand, which is to sit down to negotiate,” they add.
The directive has not carried out a count of the number of cancellations and has limited itself to saying that the affectation has been less than 1% of scheduled flights. The unions, for their part, have recorded the numbers of cancellations. Only today, penultimate day of July, so far there have been nine cancellations and 42 delays. Barcelona-El Prat airport has been the most affected, followed by Madrid and Malaga.