Ryanair Cabin Crew Unions Threaten European Strike

September 7, 2018

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Unions in five European countries representing Ryanair cabin crew have threatened to strike later this month to protest the “serious hardship” the airline is causing its staff.

The unions met in Rome on Friday to coordinate their approach to the Irish low cost airline and a “European strike for all Ryanair staff by the end of the month.”

At the meeting organised by Italy’s Filt Cgil and Uiltrasporti unions, they were joined by unions from Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain.

The unions called on Ryanair shareholders at an upcoming company meeting to force the airline’s management to comply with employment laws in each country where the airline operates.

The Italian unions said in a joint statement that they are seeking “recognition of the legitimate requests of Ryanair's employees and of those hired by supply agencies for the right to a collective agreement and the recognition of workers' rights. Ryanair is causing serious hardship to all European staff.”

In more positive news, Ryanair said it had decided to rescind the decision to downsize its Dublin base, after an agreement was reached in mediated talks between the airline and the Irish pilots’ union. The agreement ended the threat of further 24 hour strikes by Ireland-based pilots.

Six Boeing 737s were due to be transferred to Poland in November, ready for the 2018 winter schedule, but will now stay in Ireland.

The airline said it regretted the need for mediation, but “despite causing minimal damage to Ryanair’s schedules, did damage our forward fares and yields to/from Ireland because of the perception of possible disruptions.”

Ryanair’s chief people officer Eddie Wilson, said “The Board and management of Ryanair are committed to union recognition, and working constructively with our people and their unions to address their reasonable concerns, as long as this does not alter Ryanair’s low cost model or our ability to offer low fares to our customers.”

Ryanair decided to recognise pilot and cabin crew unions in December 2017 as it approached the busy holiday travel period with a number of strikes threatened.