Cabin crew in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain are taking simultaneous industrial action today, leading to the most widespread Ryanair strike yet. This has been provoked by the company’s persistent failure to deliver immediate improvements in pay and conditions for the majority of its workforce.
All workers have a fundamental right to withdraw their labour. However, ITF and ETF are once again receiving reports of attempts by the company to obstruct workers’ striking, including pressuring individuals to not strike and flying crew in from other countries.
These tactics constitute a violation of the fundamental right to strike as well as international norms on freedom of association. ITF and ETF have previously warned Ryanair about such systematic and repeated unacceptable violations.
Meanwhile, earlier this week the company made a formal complaint to the European Commission, alleging that unions and rival airlines are conspiring to damage its business. These claims are preposterous and clearly an attempt to distract attention from the real issues.
As part of its complaint, Ryanair objects to the presence of union reps employed by other airlines negotiating on behalf of its workforce. It yet again demonstrates Ryanair’s inexperience in industrial relations that this has even been raised as an issue.
Ryanair must cease its violation of workers’ fundamental rights and stop wasting time trying to smear unions and competitor airlines. Instead, it should be focussing its energies on negotiating with unions in good faith and delivering the immediate improvements in pay and conditions its workforce deserves. Workers and travellers deserve a fair deal.