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Ryanair staff get ready for summer strikes
RYANAIR pilots across Europe are said to be 'ready to strike' this summer and cabin crew are expecting to follow suit.
According to the Independent Airline Cabin Crew Union (SITCPLA) in Spain, which represents about 1,700 Ryanair workers, strike action is set to take place this summer and the dates will be known as soon as Italian authorities issue the relevant permits in line with its national employment legislation.
This is because the SITCPLA is working closely with Italy, Portugal and Belgium in preparing their industrial action, and may be about to announce at a joint press conference in Brussels this week that they will down tools from the end of this month.
Although the low-cost Irish carrier has said the impact of the strikes will be 'minimal' and only likely to affect around 7% of flights, in Spain alone the industrial action is set to cause problems for up to 100,000 passengers a day, with each day's strike costing €30 million.
Pilots based in Dublin have announced a 24-hour strike on July 12 and, after a two-day meeting in the Irish capital of representatives of the company's flight attendants' organisation Cabin Crew United (CCU), a letter was presented today (Wednesday) to Ryanair's management.
In it, they have listed the 'changes the company needs to make' to streamline working conditions and practices with those of other airlines.
Cabin crew members have made no secret of the fact that they are only paid for time worked between doors-to-manual and landing, and do not get paid for time spent boarding passengers, helping to seat them or assisting them with hand luggage in overhead lockers.
They have also revealed they are on commission for items they sell on board, and some controversy was caused earlier in the year when they claimed they were under extreme pressure to meet sales targets – a claim that was denied by the company.
Also, if they are on 'stand-by', they are required to be ready to step in at any time during the few days they are on this régime, but are not actually paid unless they fly.
Other issues which cabin crew say makes their working conditions inferior to those required by law in the countries they are based in are at the root of their discontent, and they have been repeatedly calling for Ryanair to equalise these.
The CCU gave the company until June 30 to respond to their requests, and say they have not done so, meaning strike dates will soon be announced unless Ryanair agrees to comply with the changes stated in the association's letter presented today.
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