National strikes in Italy are forcing Ryanair and easyJet to cancel flights.
Low-cost Carriers Cancel Flights
Ryanair and easyJet have been forced to cancel flights to several Italian destinations today, following strike action by trade union groups. Two Italian unions have teamed up to call for a nation-wide cabin crew walkout.
The Irish low-cost carrier has suspended its routes from London Stanstead to Genoa, Milan Bergamo and Verona. easyJet has also been affected, with flights to Venice, Rome, Pisa, and all three of Milan’s airports grounded. British Airways has cancelled its round-trip to Milan Malpensa from both Gatwick and London City.
The strike was arranged by Italian unions Filt (Italian Federation of Transport Workers) and Uiltrasporti (Italian Federation of Transport Workers). In a joint statement released on Monday, they announced the 4-hour national walkout, carried out due to the “impossibility of opening a discussion dedicated to the problems that have afflicted the crew for months”. Some airports, like Milan Bergamo, have reported longer strike times, advising passengers that travel will be affected between 10 am and 6 pm.
Ryanair Strike Action
Workers have called out Ryanair for its “failure to comply with the minimum wages provided for by the national contract” as well as “the arbitrary reductions of paychecks, the non-payment of sick days, the company’s refusal to grant compulsory leave during the summer season and lack of water and meals for crew.”
Compared to other airlines, Ryanair has cancelled few flights this summer, but that may be soon to change. The union warns that without “concrete signs from Ryanair” that their concerns have been heard, strike action will continue periodically throughout the summer season.
easyJet Strike Action
A separate strike action concerns the plight of easyJet workers. flight crew are protesting against “the compression of rights which culminated in unjustified dismissals”, as well as “unacceptable requests for salary reductions” and “promotions and economic upgrades at the sole discretion of the company to exercise real and proper control over its employees, to which are added disciplinary disputes in contrast with Italian law”
The strike days for the two movements have been coordinated so as to produce the greatest effect. This is bad news for easyJet who are already struggling for staff. Should the worker’s warnings not be heeded, Uiltrasporti warn of more strike action that will make the summer ‘hot’.
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