Unions representing cabin crew of Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair in Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Italy and Belgium have called a 24-hour strike on 28 September.
The Spanish SIT CPLA and USO unions, SNPVAC from Portugal, FNV from the Netherlands, UILTRASPORTI and FILT-CGIL from Italy and Belgium’s CNE/LBC are calling for the carrier to meet local labour laws and contracts.
The five unions said in a joint statement: “We call on the investors and shareholders to act on the AGM of Sept. 20 and produce a real change to the employment model that exists in the company and is no longer tolerated by the employees,” the unions said.
“What we demand remains the same: local law, local contracts, local standards. And we will not back down until these demands are met,” the unions added.
Yesterday, speaking in London, Ryanair chief executive officer, Michael O’Leary said the airline “will put up with” strikes if it means defending the airline’s low fare business model and cost base.
Some of the carrier’s pilots and cabin crew went on strike in Germany yesterday, causing Ryanair to cancel 150 of its 400 scheduled flights.
However, Ryanair said today, yesterday in Germany, despite a strike by pilots and cabin crew, over 70 per cent of Ryanair’s German based pilots and cabin crew reported for work and it completed over 250 of its daily schedule of 400 flights, because 150 flights had been pre-cancelled on Tuesday 11 September with the small group of affected passengers being re-accommodated and/or refunded.
The airline also rejected what it said are “false claims” made by Belgian union CNE that strike action by its small minority of cabin crew on the 28 September would cause “travel chaos”.
The airline said its experience during previous strikes which included five days of strikes by less than 25 per cent of its Irish pilots this summer, and on each of those days, Ryanair completed 280 of its 300 flights to/from Ireland, because over 75 per cent of its Irish pilots continued to work normally.
In total yesterday the carrier said it operated over 2,200 flights and carried over 380,000 customers with no “chaos”.
Ryanair said expects that even if there is another limited cabin crew strike on 28 September, the vast majority of its cabin crew across Europe will work as normal.
It also expects a significant majority of its cabin crew in Spain, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Portugal will also work normally, as they have during previous strikes, and accordingly there will not be any “travel chaos” or “widespread disruptions”.