Ryanair: Three-day strike announced for next week

Unsuccessful meeting this Friday between management and unions at Ryanair. Cabin crew have announced a three-day strike for next week.

Relations between Ryanair management and the Belgian trade union delegation are strained again. Point of contention: Negotiations on salaries and bonuses for cabin crew, which have not yet led to an agreement. As a result, the CNE announces that Ryanair cabin crew members working at Zaventem and Charleroi airports will go on a three-day strike next week, from Friday 22 to Sunday 24 April inclusive. The CNE is the only active union at Ryanair.

Ryanair employs around 650 people in Belgium but has no human resources department. “Ryanair refuses to invest in a human resources policy. Payslips are wrong, salaries are not paid correctly, social documents are not in order etc. This creates a constant source of problems for staff in Belgium‘ denounces Didier Lebbe, permanent secretary of the CNE.

The CNE also points out that 75% of cabin crew earn the industry minimum wage despite working early and late on holidays and weekends. “All this for a ridiculous gross amount of 2,000 euros. Although Ryanair has a 30% profit margin at Charleroi, Belgium’s largest base, and expects to make a profit of €1 billion this year, there is no scope to improve workers’ spending power.”

Ryanair could try to break the strike through a variety of means

As of this Friday, it was still difficult to determine the impact for travelers. Officials are waiting for Ryanair to position and communicate. The low-cost airline could use cabin crew based in other countries. Another option: use and mobilize aircraft and personnel from other companies that belong to the Ryanair group. Finally, the flights could have departure locations other than Brussels or Charleroi. For example, a Charleroi-Naples flight could be changed to a Manchester-Charleroi-Naples flight in an attempt to break the strike movement.

The last strike at Ryanair dates back to 2018. At that time there were four days of action, 172 flights were canceled or delayed, around 33,000 passengers were affected by the disruption.

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