MADRID – The trade unions of Ryanair and EasyJet staff are also threatening to strike in August. In the meantime, however, they have filed a complaint with the Labour Inspectorate for violating the right to strike by the low-cost airlines.
The trade unions USO and SICTPLA, which represent the Spanish employees of the Irish low-cost airline Ryanair, called last week for 12 new strike days at the 10 Spanish bases of the airline. These 24-hour interruptions will occur on days 12, 13, 14, 15, 18, 19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 27 and 28 July.
Decent working conditions
The unions are demanding “a change of mindset” from the airline. They also want negotiations on a collective agreement under Spanish law to be resumed. This would recognise decent working conditions for staff.
Mainly Malaga, Barcelona, and Palma affected by the strike
Trade unions say protests at both low-cost airlines last week cancelled at least 241 flights and delayed 1,440. EasyJet had 26 cancellations and 185 delays and Ryanair had 215 cancellations and 1,255 delays. Most cancellations with Easyjet affected flights to or from Malaga-Costa del Sol airport. Many operations at Barcelona-El Prat and Palma de Mallorca-Son Sant Joan were also affected.
Strike in August
Meanwhile, the unions of both airlines continue to put further pressure on Spanish Labour Minister Díaz by also threatening strikes in August.
Easyjet’s staff follow that of Ryanair and denounce to the Labour Inspectorate that the right to strike is not respected. Both airlines have not adhered to the legally established minimum service. The companies brought in staff from other countries to be able to carry out flights.
Furthermore, both companies want the minister to take action against this. Failure to comply with the minimum service provision in the event of strikes is subject to severe sanctions.
Ryanair’s unions have already extended the strike by going on strike for 12 days in July. The plan is also to do the same in August if there is no mediation from the government and the Minister of Employment.
Solution in the hands of the Spanish state
Ryanair’s unions will only cancel the strikes if the company decides to negotiate, they warn. The solution lies in the hands of the Spanish state, which must assert its rights. “Either it responds and sends a clear signal to airlines and labour violations are punished, or they continue to pay fines.”
They insist: “Workers’ rights are non-negotiable. We are not willing to lower the terms and we are not going to give in to blackmail.”
EasyJet staff want a higher base salary
The Easyjet crew has been on strike since the beginning of July. They also want to negotiate the collective labour agreement, which expired in February and ask for an improvement in the base salary, which with inflation does not reach the guaranteed minimum. Moreover, they know that these increases have taken place in other European countries and they want the same.