Ryanair cabin crew issue demands amid strike action

Holidaymakers could face more disruptions this summer as Ryanair cabin crew have threatened industrial action if the airline does not agree to a list of demands. 

The new threat from crew follows Tuesday’s announcement that the company’s Irish-based pilots plan to strike on July 12.

Yesterday, Ryanair cabin crew around Europe threatened industrial action if the airline does not agree to a list of demands which include what they describe as a fair living wage, an end to the “pressure” to sell on flights, and sick pay.

Cabin crew from 80% of the 86 Ryanair bases were represented in Dublin by the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITWF).

An ITWF spokesman said: “There’s always a risk of industrial action. Unions are free, affiliates are free to take industrial action.

"On Tuesday there was an announcement in terms of [pilot] industrial action taking place, but that’s always a risk; if you don’t resolve the problems that the workers face, there is a risk that you and the company will inevitably end up in industrial action.”

Crew from around Europe gathered in Dublin for two days to draw up a charter of demands, which include:

  • “A fair living wage that reflects the work we do”;
  • An end to “all the extra costs that we incur on our job — like water, food, uniforms; and calling crew control”;
  • “No pay deduction” when they are sick.

The ITWF hoped Ryanair would be “mature enough” to negotiate with the unions they represent.

“We hope that the management is going to be mature enough that they are not just going to be big headlines in the news against the unions, that there is going to be goodwill in order to achieve concrete sustainable agreements with the unions all over the network — that’s what we expect, that’s what we hope, and that’s what workers hope,” said the spokesman.

In a statement, Ryanair said “these demands are pointless” since cabin crew already earned up to €40,000 annually, which it said was more than double the living wage.

It also noted that, as well as working a fixed five days on, three days off roster, cabin crew received free training, sick pay, and a €400 annual uniform allowance.

The airline said it is “already engaged in extensive negotiations with national cabin crew unions across Europe during which all of these, and other issues, are being negotiated and we have already concluded agreements in the UK and Italy”.

Earlier, some cabin crew members spoke anonymously at the launch, detailing claims about what it is like to work for the airline.

“When you get sick, the first thing you have to do is if you are unfit to fly, you have to give a call to crew control so they’re aware.

"The doctor’s certificate is only required after two days... But the very same day you cannot work you have to go to the office, which means the airport, and sign a company form explaining why you were sick, what did you have, why you were unfit to fly — it must be an extensive description, including symptoms — and then you head home and try to get better,” alleged one cabin crew member.

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