Unions representing cabin crew in five countries say there will be a strike at the end of this month, but the airline rejects claims of “chaos”.
Unions representing Ryanair cabin crew in five countries have announced a 24-hour strike starting at midnight on September 28, carrying out their earlier threat, and intensifying pressure on the airline to adhere to local labour laws and contracts in the countries it has bases in.
Cabin crew in Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Italy and Belgium are set to strike on September 28 in the latest round of conflict between management and staff.
But the company rejects suggestions that the walkout will bring chaos across its operations, Ireland’s RTE news reports.
The unions presented their strike plan in Brussels, accusing the airline’s management of ignoring the law and maintaining a “bullying culture”.
Having taken the step of recognizing unions for the first time and consequently enduring a number strikes this summer, including one in Germany on Wednesday that forced the cancellation of 150 out of 400 German flights, Ryanair is, unions say, writing “intimidating” letters to anyone who used their right to strike, threatening job losses and base closures.
The unions say they will not back down until their demands for the airline to adhere to local laws are met.
But Ryanair says that claims by the Belgian union CNE that the forthcoming strike would cause travel chaos are “false”, “unfounded”, “lurid” and “inaccurate”.
It expects that if there is a strike on September 28, the “vast majority” of cabin crew across Europe will be working as normal.
Ryanair released a statement saying it “rejected false claims made by Belgian union CNE that strike action by its small minority of cabin crew on the 28th September would cause ‘travel chaos’,” pointing to “previous strikes which included five days of strikes by less than 25% of its Irish pilots this summer, and on each of those days, Ryanair completed 280 of its 300 flights to/from Ireland, because over 75% of its Irish pilots continued to work normally. In total [during the German strike] Ryanair operated over 2,200 flights and carried over 380,000 customers with no ‘chaos’.”