600 Ryanair flights are cancelled today, after a planned strike by cabin crew over pay and conditions is carried out. Employees have long expressed anger at their working conditions, and Ryanair has been hit by several separate strikes this year.
Five unions said they would support a call to strike for Ryanair cabin staff in Spain, Portugal, Belgium and Italy for two days this week, forcing the Dublin-based airline to cancel approximately 600 flights. The Spanish USO and Sitcpla have led the charge against Ryanair and, after holding meetings with representatives from the airline on Tuesday, said the strike was ‘unavoidable’. Unions want Ryanair to give workers the same conditions as their own employees and want staff to be employed according to the laws of the country they work in, rather than the Republic of Ireland. The strikes are causing unprecedented disruption for passengers, as Unions walk-out in the midst of the busiest summer holiday period.
What has been Ryanair’s response?
Ryanair have hit back fiercely, following the strikes. The airline has threatened to sack 100 pilots and up to 200 cabin crew over the issue. These potential job cuts come as Ryanair plans to cut its winter Dublin-based fleet from 30 aircraft, to just 24.
Despite these threats, the airline has had to concede that there will be more strikes this summer, as the airline is not prepared to give into ‘unreasonable demands’. The President of Spain’s Sitcpla union remained undeterred saying that the ‘threat’, in ‘Ryanair’s style’ didn’t frighten the workers at all.
What disruption is it causing to passengers?
Unsurprisingly, the unions have coordinated the strike in the interest of causing as much disruption as possible.
Passengers who are affected will be notified by email or by text regarding their flight and full refunds or alternative flights will be offered to those caught up in the shambles. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) have urged all passengers to seek compensation under European air passenger rights regulations. Ryanair say that strikes are ”extreme circumstances’ and therefore they will be rejecting any EU261 compensation claims.