Ryanair will offer a contract to cabin crew employed in Belgium by Crewlink, a subcontractor of the Irish low-cost airline, the CNE / LBC-NVK union announced Monday. This concerns 50% of stewards and stewardesses employed in the country, around 350 people. The interim agency will, therefore, stop its activities in Belgium, a first in the sector in Europe, according to the Christian trade union. “It’s a great victory for the staff,” it says. This point, which was one of the main demands of the unions, led to the strikes held last summer.
The workers concerned will be offered to sign a contract with Ryanair itself between 1 April and 1 May.
Crewlink was working with even worse employment conditions than those of Ryanair, says the Christian union. Part of the Brussels-based staff had been given a zero-hour contract. This means that these people did not have a minimum number of guaranteed working hours and therefore had no minimum financial security. “Illegal contracts in Belgium“, says the CNE. The uncertainty will disappear now.
Since last 31 January, pilots and cabin crew directly employed by the company have already benefited from the application of Belgian law. Thanks to this agreement, all the Belgian staff of Ryanair will fall under this legislation as of April 1st. Each worker will have the right to paid holidays, sick and maternity leave, and a minimum wage, says the union, which welcomes the financial security that accompanies this decision.
Negotiations with the company will now address pay and working conditions. CNE/LBC hopes to conclude a collective labour agreement on these points during next month, before presenting it to its affiliates in April.
The two main demands that led to last summer’s strikes are now met. The workers and their representatives wanted the application of Belgian law for all staff and the end of the discrimination between the staff directly employed by the company and those working for Crewlink.