Ryanair faces historic strike action

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July 05, 2018
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Ryanair faces strike action. Photo: Ryanair

Ryanair is facing a summer of industrial unrest after cabin crew joined Irish pilots in planning strike action.

The budget airline’s cabin crew issued a charter this week that included demands for a fair living wage, stable rosters and an end to requirements they pay costs for items such as water on flights.

The charter stemmed from a summit organized by the International Transport Workers’ Federation and the European Transport Workers’ Federation representing about 80 percent of Ryanair’s cabin crew workforce.

READ: Ryanair warns of European air traffic meltdown.

Cabin crew told the media they were forced to travel to Ireland to open bank accounts to receive their pay and were forced to report to work in person when sick to provide written details of symptoms.

“The charter contains demands on economic conditions, safety and rostering, a fair and supportive work culture, agency employment, the right to sick pay and sales targets,” the ITF said. “A key demand is also that employment contracts explicitly recognize national law and jurisdiction in the country a worker is based.”

Ryanair decided to recognize unions in December but the ITF said little progress had been made in the past six months and there had been no concrete improvements in pay and working conditions.

“If Ryanair fails to respond promptly and appropriately then it risks industrial action over the summer,’’ it said. “ The ITF and the ETF support all lawful industrial action undertaken by their national affiliates with the aim of winning a fair deal for workers.”

Ryanair only employs about a quarter of if its 8000 crew and outsources much of the work to agencies.

The carrier’s cabin crew in Spain, Portugal, Italy and Belgium are planning strikes, according to Bloomberg.

Pilots have also voted to take strike action in its home market of Ireland next week.

The Irish Air Line Pilots Association told Bloomberg a poll of cockpit crew produced a 94 to 1 vote in favor of industrial action with a walkout set for July 12.

Ryanair has described the demands as “pointless” and says cabin crew get sick pay, a 400-euro annual uniform allowance and could earn up to 40,000 euros a year.