Ryanair’s ground handling staff will go on strike from 28 October until 8 January 2023. Employees will lay down work on several days – whole days or during specific hours – in protest against poor working conditions and the first collective bargaining agreement for ground staff.
The companies Azul Handling, Ryanair DAC and Ihandling Aviation Airlines Airports regulate ground handling staff for Ryanair. Unions USO and CCOO have jointly called for a strike. USO called for a national strike at 23 airports. And Trade union CCOO called for a strike at seven airports.
When will strikes take place?
In total, workers will take part in 31 strikes. Five between 28 October and 1 November 2022. These will be full-time, from 00:00 on 28 October to 24:00 on 1 November. Part-time strikes will take place every Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the month from 2 to 30 November 2022. Therefore, on 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26 and 27 November, strikes will take place. The timings of this will be between 04:00 and 07:00, 12:00 and 15:00 and 21:00 and 23:00. In the month of December 2022, on 6, 10, 16, 17, 18, 22 and 23 December, partial work stoppages will take place between 04:00 and 07:00, between 12:00 and 15:00 and between 21:00 and 23:00. On 8, 11, 30 and 31 December, strikes will take place all day, between 00:00 and 24:00.
The call registered by USO, of a national nature, concerns ramp services and other ground operations such as check-in and boarding at Madrid-Barajas, Barcelona-El Prat, Palma de Mallorca airports, Málaga, Alicante, Seville, Valencia, Girona, Santiago de Compostela, Ibiza, Reus, Tenerife South, Tenerife North, Lanzarote, Jerez, Santander, Gran Canaria, Zaragoza, Fuerteventura, Menorca, Almeria, Valladolid and Murcia. A SIMA (Servicio Interconfederal de Mediación y Arbitraje) meeting with Ryanair took place last week, which was also attended by other unions. It is now waiting for the determination of the minimum services to be observed during the strike.
The CCOO call covers Madrid, Palma de Mallorca, Málaga, Gran Canaria, Ibiza, Murcia and Santiago de Compostela airports. Strikes in Valencia, Lanzarote, Alicante, Reus, Zaragoza, Fuerteventura and Gerona have been called off. Trade union CCOO gave Ryanair an ultimatum to engage and negotiate improvements for workers on the ground, to which the airline responded negatively. Two weeks after the initial announcement, the call to strike at half of the announced airports was confirmed after mediation between the two sides failed.
Divisions within the union
Union CCOO sources assure that the reduction in the number of airports is due to pressure from the union’s own air transport general secretariat, which “for incomprehensible reasons” does not support the call. Behind this internal struggle is said to be the agreement reached with Ryanair to improve conditions for cabin crew. “A letter has been sent from the general secretariat attacking the legitimate union action of the elected representatives that has led to divisions between them,” union sources say.
Cabin crew also on strike
These strikes by ground handling staff come on top of the strikes by Ryanair cabin crew in Spain. They have been on strike since 8 August. These strikes are scheduled to end on 7 January 2023 but there are already rumours of an extension.