Ryanair staff to extend strikes until January

A cabin crew strike at Ryanair in Spain which began in June will continue until January 2023 with regular 24-hour work stoppages, two workers’ unions said Wednesday.

The series of rolling strikes over pay and working conditions at Ryanair in Spain – where there are some 1,900 employees – began on June 24 as European schools started breaking for the summer.

There were initially six days of planned strikes, called by the USO and SITCPLA unions, but they decided earlier this month to extend the strike until July 28. 

The stoppages affect 10 Spanish airports where Ryanair has bases.

“Ryanair has not made the slightest attempt to reconcile with the unions” and “having publicly demonstrated its refusal to engage in any dialogue”, the USO and SITCPLA “are forced to extend” the strike, the unions said.

Another 24-hour strike is planned during the week starting August 8.

Similar actions will take place “until January 7”, a period of five months, the unions said in a statement. 

The Spanish strikes are one of a series of similar walkouts in other European countries, at a time when the aviation sector hoped to move on from the Covid pandemic.

Hundreds of flights have been delayed and cancelled.

Ryanair has insisted the action has had little impact on the company’s activity in Spain. The Irish airline claims to carry the largest number of passengers in the Spanish market with more than 650 routes in the country.

Ryanair is the only international company in Spain not to have a collective agreement, the unions say.

Negotiations on working conditions with staff began eight months ago.

Discussions ended with an agreement with the CCOO union, which represents a smaller number of workers. USO and SITCPLA rejected the deal, judging it to be insufficient to meet staff’s needs.

In addition to better working conditions, the unions demand the return to work of 11 striking employees dismissed in the last month.