On Wednesday, 6 June, Ryanair announced that it had signed a recognition deal with two unions, ANPAC and ANPAV. This move effectively excludes three other Italian unions which together have a greater claim to represent the cabin crew workforce.
The three other unions – FILT CGIL, FIT CISL and UIL Trasporti – have made it clear that the deal is inconsistent with Italian labour standards and a threat to the proper representation of cabin crew. ITF and ETF fully support their Italian affiliates in this position.
Last year, Ryanair’s announcement that it would finally recognise unions was welcomed in Italy and beyond. Workers remain hopeful of winning better treatment from the company. However, since then Ryanair’s actions have led to doubts about its willingness to negotiate with workers and their representatives in good faith.
This deal is only the most recent instance of Ryanair skirting close to the law in Italy. In December, when Italian pilots were planning strike action over pay and conditions, the company sent letters to employees threatening consequences if they undertook industrial action.
These threats were condemned by unions and the Italian authorities. Giuseppe Santoro Passarelli, president of the national strike regulator, said that "the statements by the Ryanair management appear to not respect the principles of our law regarding striking which, if exercised legitimately, is considered a constitutional right".
The then Minister for Economic Development, Carlo Calenda, described the threats as “shameful”, saying to Ryanair that “you cannot be in the market, take the advantages and not respect the rules”.
ITF and ETF continue to support their Italian affiliates in the fight for the rights of Ryanair cabin crew, including if necessary the resort to industrial action. Next month, cabin crew from across the Ryanair network will be meeting for a summit in Dublin to draft a charter of demands outlining essential improvements on pay and working conditions. (1)
International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF):
James Bartholomeusz, +44 (0) 7715 074 293, firstname.lastname@example.org
(1) The summit will be held on Tuesday 3 and Wednesday 4 July, at the offices of the Irish trade union Fórsa. Journalists are welcome to attend the press conference during the summit, and workers will be available to discuss their grievances and demands. Please contact James Bartholomeusz at ITF if you wish to attend.