Spanish trade unions have called on Ryanair staff to conduct a six-day strike at the start of the crucial summer period. 

It is the latest move in calls to improve working conditions across airlines in Europe. 

A rallying call

This Monday saw Spanish trade unions call for flight crews to walk out from 24 June to 2 July to encourage the Dublin-based carrier to reach a deal that “guarantees decent work conditions for all personnel” at the airline. 

The Unión Sindical Obrera (USO) and SITCPLA (Sindicato Independiente de Tripulantes de Cabina de Pasajeros de Líneas Aéreas) are the two unions leading the charge on this matter. 

According to the unions, the successful low-cost carrier is also the only international airline that does not have a collective bargaining agreement that defined workplace conditions for its Spanish employees. 

The USO and SITCPLA believe that this is insufficient and does not respect Spanish labour law. 

Ryanair held talks with USO and SITCPLA last Tuesday but the carrier walked away and a decision was not made. As a result, the unions believe that they have “no other option” to walk out. 

This comes as both Ryanair and easyJet were forced to cancel flights due to strike action in Italy. Two unions, the Italian Federation of Transport Workers and the Italian Federation of Transport Workers, led the strike and stated that problems that have “afflicted the crew for months” was the main motivating factor. Workers in Italy have also been frustrated by Ryanair’s “failure to comply with the minimum wages provided for by the national contract”. 

Strike action would have a negative effect on Ryanair’s operations as it attempts to handle the situation in Italy. It is likely that Ryanair would face even more financial losses as a consequence at a time where all profit made is crucial to a successful post-pandemic recovery.  

Ryanair has also been in a dispute with baggage handlers at London Stansted Airport recently, with the union representing them threatening strike action if demands were not met.

What do you think of the decision to strike? Share all your thoughts in the comments below.

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