LONDON – Spanish cabin crew working for Ryanair are set to go on a six-day strike over the next few weeks.
It is understood that the crew will be striking between June 24-26, and June 30 as well as July 1-2 over working conditions and pay.
Unions SITCPLA and USO will be working together to coordinate the strike actions, which are set to cause significant disruption over an important period of the Summer 2022 season.
Ryanair: Progress Has Been Made…
Both SITCPLA and USO argue that not enough has been done in terms of collective agreements over pay and working conditions, although Ryanair reject this and says progress has been made across Europe as per a quote received by The Mirror:
“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 Assuming Lack of Impact?
With Ryanair belittling USO and SITCPLA as “smaller” unions, this does offer the view that the Irish low-cost carrier doesn’t expect that much disruption to occur over the next few weeks.
Cabin crew in Belgium for Ryanair went on strike back in April over the same thing, although that had died down pretty quickly, offering the view that a resolution may have been made behind closed doors.
Ryanair doesn’t seem too phased though. In May, they handled 15.4 million passengers, with a strong load factor of 92%, and an annual rolling average of 123.9 million passengers by year-end.
Because it has a collective agreement with CCOO, the assumption is that the strike action from USO & SITCPLA will fall on its face, which would place negative attention on the unions as opposed to Ryanair directly.
All eyes will now be on Ryanair to see how much disruption this strike action will actually cause and whether the collective agreements with CCOO are enough to stave off disruption.
Looking ahead, we will probably continue to see more unions across Europe who work for Ryanair commit to strike action, especially with the Belgian strikes beginning to develop some form of consistency of unhappiness amongst the workforce.
Ryanair will of course respond by securing collective agreements to keep unions on the side, but there is only so long this can happen before strike actions get worse. And they could very well do.