Threat of European cabin crew strikes at Ryanair in the summer

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Trade unions in five countries are threatening to carry out cabin crew strikes at Ryanair in the coming weeks if the Irish low-cost airline does not accept a “genuine social dialogue“. They agreed on the subject during a meeting held in Brussels on Thursday.

Sporadic or coordinated actions could take place just about anywhere in Europe from June,” said Didier Lebbe, secretary at the Belgian union CNE.

In 2018, trade unions from several European countries had already united for a European strike at Ryanair, which took place during the summer. They then demanded that the company apply national labour laws in all countries where it operates. They had ended up winning their battle. In Belgium for example, this legislation has been applied since the beginning of 2019.

But, four years later, “few things have improved, and many problems raised in 2018 have still not been resolved“, the European unions from Belgium (CNE and ACV-Puls), France, Italy, Portugal and Spain lament in a statement. They complain that there is still no “fair and transparent social dialogue” within the airline.

Some of the union grievances were already highlighted during the three-day strike by Ryanair cabin crew in Belgium a month ago. There is no local HR department, payslips are unclear or contain errors, flight attendants do not have access to freshwater onboard unless they pay for it, etc.

If there is no meaningful response from the company, we will not hesitate to launch a European cabin crew action during the summer,” the unions said.

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