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Saturday 22 September 2018

Holiday misery as cabin crew call for second Ryanair Strike in month

Travel plans could be thrown into turmoil as up to 1,500 Ryanair cabin crew prepare to strike
Travel plans could be thrown into turmoil as up to 1,500 Ryanair cabin crew prepare to strike

Ryanair passengers could be in for more misery this month as cabin crew prepare to strike.

The news comes on top of the strike planned by the airline's pilots.

Unions in Spain, Portugal, Italy and Belgium confirmed yesterday that they have called for 24-hour national strikes of unionised Ryanair cabin crew on July 25.

A spokesman for Italian union Uiltrasporti said he expects between 1,000 and 1,500 Ryanair cabin crew members to go on strike.

The airline has more than 8,000 such staff.

The strike action will continue for another 24 hours on July 26 in Portugal, Spain and Belgium, when the summer holiday season is in full swing.

Disruption

The ensuing disruption could hit passengers all over Europe who are planning to travel to and from the countries affected.

Spain and Italy are two of Ryanair's biggest markets.

The planned strikes come after directly-employed Ryanair pilots based in Ireland, who are members of the Irish Air Line Pilots' Association, also voted in favour of industrial action.

These pilots are set to strike on Thursday for 24 hours in a dispute over terms and conditions.

The action could hit dozens of flights out of Dublin, impacting thousands of passengers.

The cabin crew union said that following a meeting on April 24 in Lisbon, it had given Ryanair until June 30 to comply with a list of demands.

These include that cabin crew be subject to local employment law in the country where they are based, rather than Irish employment legislation.

Ryanair has previously insisted that it "fully complies" with all European Union employment laws.

The Italian, Spanish, Belgian and Portuguese unions have also called on the airline to initiate negotiations with them, "without imposing restrictions".

"Ryanair chose to continue to ignore its workforce and gave these unions no other choice but to call for 24-hour national strike action," according to a joint statement from the cabin crew unions: SNPVAC in Portugal, Uiltrasporti (Italy), SITCPLA and USO (Spain) and CNE-LBC (Belgium).

"Further industrial actions may follow in the upcoming weeks if Ryanair continues with this deadlock."

The unions also want cabin crew to have the same terms and conditions whether they are directly employed by the airline or work for it via a contracting firm.

Ryanair said union dem-ands made this week for cabin crew are "pointless", and claimed its cabin crew can earn as much as €40,000 a year.

Unnecessary

Meanwhile, Forsa has claimed that there is "no evidence whatsoever" that Ryanair wants to engage in meaningful talks regarding the issues raised by the striking staff pilots Ireland.

Ryanair insisted in a letter yesterday that next week's planned strike by pilots is "unnecessary" and that the airline has already sent Forsa proposals to address all the issues.

The airline's chief people officer, Eddie Wilson, told Forsa yesterday that the airline is willing to meet on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday next week, but at the Ryanair headquarters rather than a neutral venue.

He called on the union to postpone or withdraw the strike threat.

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