Ryanair strikes scheduled for this week called off

Cathy Adams

The Ryanair strikes that were due to take place this week have been called off, Spanish unions announced this morning.

Ryanair cabin crew in Spain were originally due to walk out on 8, 10 and 13 January, affecting flights to and from Spain.

But unions USO and Sitcpla said in a statement that they had inked an agreement with the budget carrier, Europe’s largest, after 14 hours of negotiation. They also thanked the cabin crew for their hard work.

“We believe this is a main achievement which contains a guarantee of employment stability and improves labour conditions alongside the main contention; the application of Spanish legislation,” the Sitcpla and USO unions said.

At the end of December, the unions announced that Ryanair’s Spanish cabin crew would walk out for three days over an ongoing row that focuses on not employing staff on local contracts.

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The planned strike for 8 January was called off late on Monday evening, as the unions announced there had been successful negotiations with Ryanair, but that the strikes for 10 and 13 January would still go ahead.

In Spain, a strike doesn’t necessarily mean that all flights are grounded. As is customary in Spain, the government had stipulated a minimum level of operations, which means that all domestic flights and 35 per cent of international services must run.

Spain is Ryanair’s third biggest market, with 13 of its 89 bases in the country.

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Ryanair has been beleaguered by strikes over the past year. On 28 September 2018, crew from Germany, Belgium, Portugal, the Netherlands, Spain and Italy walked out for 24 hours in a move that saw Ryanair cancelling 250 flights across Europe. Around 40,000 passengers were affected.

Passengers whose flights are disrupted are entitled to a duty of care – meals and accommodation – until they reach their destination, but the right to cash compensation is disputed.