Ryanair Spanish cabin crew unions threaten 10 days of strikes

Talks aimed at averting Irish strike begin

Ryanair staff unions in Ireland, Britain and Portugal have  announced plans to strike in the coming weeks over pay and conditions. Photograph: PA Wire

Ryanair staff unions in Ireland, Britain and Portugal have announced plans to strike in the coming weeks over pay and conditions. Photograph: PA Wire

 

As talks aimed at averting a strike by Ryanair pilots in Ireland commenced on Wednesday, unions representing cabin crew working for the airline in Spain announced plans to hold 10 days of stoppages in September unless it changes plans to close several bases in the country.

Last week the Irish Airline Pilots’ Association (Ialpa) said that 94 per cent of members who were directly employed pilots at Ryanair backed industrial action in a dispute over pay, working conditions and related issues.

Ialpa is a branch of the trade union Fórsa which said earlier this week that it had accepted an invitation from mediator Kieran Mulvey to attend talks on the Ryanair dispute.

It is understood that Mr Mulvey asked both parties on Wednesday not to make public comments while the new process was under way.

Fórsa said on Tuesday that “only a substantive and meaningful counterproposal from Ryanair management, which properly addresses all areas of the union’s claim, would need to be tabled [on Wednesday] to prevent strike action next week”.

Proposal

The union said it had submitted a 30-page proposal to Ryanair management last March which sought pay levels and structures that are in line with sector norms, and which made detailed proposals on pensions, working conditions and related matters.

Ryanair is also facing potential industrial relations difficulties in Britain and in Portugal.

In Spain on Wednesday the SITCPLA and USO workers’ unions said the threat of strike action was aimed at preventing the planned closure of bases at Gran Canaria, Tenerife South and Girona airports.

In a statement the unions said they planned to formally lodge notice of strikes on September 1st, 2nd, 6th, 8th, 13th, 15th, 20th, 22nd, 27th and 28th, unless Ryanair made concessions in the coming days.

SITCPLA spokesman Manuel Lodeiro said in a statement the unions were open to mediation by Spanish labour agency SIMA but added “we doubt very much the willingness of Ryanair to reach an agreement”.