DALLAS – Some Spanish Ryanair (FR) cabin crew are calling for a six-day strike later this summer. Officials for the USO and SITCPLA unions said at a press conference in Madrid on Monday that the walkout would take place from June 24 to July 2.
This announcement follows the collapse of pay talks where the union was looking for higher pay saying that they would have no option but to walk out if their demands were not met.
The Spanish labor groups maintain contact with unions in Belgium, France, Italy, and Portugal so that if FR does not negotiate, the SITCPLA can coordinate labor actions with its European counterparts.
At this point, there are no talks of a walkout in the UK. But the actions in Spain and possibly other European countries could put a damper on FR’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic during the busy summer travel period.
Almost No Progress
News company Bloomberg reports that it has seen a letter from Ryanair director Darrell Hughes which reveals that the airline called off talks in Spain earlier this month. This was due to the unions’ threat of a staff walkout while collective agreement talks made “almost no progress.”
The airline has described the union’s demands as “unrealistic” and says that the labor group has refused to “meaningfully engage” in discussions.
Meanwhile, USO and STCPLA released a joint statement that claims Ryanair lacked commitment to dialogue and accused the airline of acting in bad faith.
In a statement to LADbible.com, Ryanair said, “Ryanair has negotiated collective agreements covering 90% of our people across Europe. In recent months we have been negotiating improvements to those agreements as we work through the Covid recovery phase. Those negotiations are going well and we do not expect widespread disruption this summer. In Spain, we are pleased to have reached a collective agreement with CCOO, Spain’s largest and most representative union, delivering improvements for Spanish-based cabin crew and reinforcing Ryanair’s commitment to the welfare of its cabin crew.
“These announcements by the much smaller USO and SITCPLA unions are a distraction from their own failures to deliver agreements after three years of negotiations, and we believe that any strikes they call will not be supported by our Spanish crews”.
Ryanair currently employs more than 2,000 permanent workers in Spain. It also supports more than 38,000 indirect jobs across the country.
Featured image: Julian Schöpfer/Airways