LONDON — Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair continues to face a troublesome week as crewmembers from four different countries have coordinated a simultaneous strike that is likely to cripple the airline’s operations.
Cabin crews from Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Belgium are planning the coordinated strikes and will announce dates for action on July 5, once authorities in Italy approve the motion. Antonio Escobar, who is an official with the Spanish union SITCPLA, confirmed the proceedings.
These four countries will, therefore, support and join up with Ryanair’s Irish pilots who are to go on strike on July 12 over working conditions not having improved.
Ryanair, back in December 2017, recognized trade unions for the first time in its 32-year history but has since struggled to reach agreements with them.
Cabin crews across Europe published a list of demands on July 4, stating that the airline needs to provide a “fair living wage,” improved sick pay and employment contracts based on local law rather than on Irish law.
The demands were drawn up by crew representing 80% of Ryanair’s 86 bases.
Sick Pay Is The Catalyst
The vast majority of crew complaints are based on being forced to report to work when sick.
The airline is, allegedly, asking crew members to provide written details of their symptoms, as well as making it more difficult to claim sick pay as their terms and conditions often conflicted between Ireland and their own country of the base.
Crew members were also forced to travel to Ireland to open bank accounts to receive payments from sick leave.
Although Ryanair has not issued any statements on this issue, they have in the past said that their working conditions are competitive and more generous than some rivals.
It will be interesting to see how Ryanair will respond to these strike threats and whether they will give way to the employees affected.