International Ryanair workers’ strike

This video from Belgium says about itself:

Ryanair have no respect at all’ – Brussels cabin crew join strike

25 July 2018

Low-cost airline suffers worst week of stoppages in its three-decade history.

Read more here.

By Marianne Arens in Germany:

Ryanair faces largest pilots’ strike in its history

9 August 2018

On Friday, simultaneous strikes against Ryanair will take place in several European countries. …

So far, pilots’ organisations in Belgium, Ireland, Sweden and Germany have announced strikes. In the Netherlands, Ryanair is trying today to have a strike by 50 pilots outlawed through a court decision. In Germany, pilots are taking part in a European-wide strike for the first time.

The strike is an expression of workers’ tremendous anger about the extremely poor working conditions at the low-cost airline. Across the continent, Ryanair has created new benchmarks for exploitation in the airline industry. Precisely for this reason, workers are seeking ever stronger common international forms of resistance.

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reports a German worker at Ryanair who was hired a few years ago as a “contract pilot”, on the basis of a fake self-employment contract, who had to hand over an “appraisal fee” of 300 euros when he attended a job interview. “As an employee, you get the impression you are being ripped off by this company from start to finish”, he said. “You have to look after everything and defend yourself. Otherwise you will be constantly bamboozled.”

A German flight attendant told Der Spiegel that right after she was hired, she was asked to pay 3,000 euros for a six-week training course. Ryanair also hires flight attendants without preconditions and language skills, and only requires basic English skills. They then undergo an extremely tough and rapid internal training, which until recently they had had to pay for themselves. Only a few weeks ago, Ryanair changed this system.

Almost all flight attendants are hired via a temporary employment agency. Generally, flight attendants start with a work agency like Crewlink or Workforce, not with Ryanair itself. They receive a contract of employment under Irish law, even if they work and live in Germany.

This was also the case with the flight attendant who spoke to Der Spiegel, whose net income consequently lies between 700 to 1,300 euros a month. “It takes years to settle one’s debts on this money, if you don’t get any support from your family. And over the last five years, my pay has not risen.” She could do nothing to alter the fact that for the last five years she has been employed on short-term contracts and receives no fixed income.

Flight attendants are only paid for the hours they are actually flying, but not for any other duties outside, such as cleaning the aircraft. “All preparations made on the ground, as well as the approach are not paid.” She is not paid if flights are cancelled or delayed, nor is any overtime recompensed, and there is no sick pay. She also reported that Ryanair keeps statistics about absences and put workers under pressure if they are off sick too much.

Anger with these conditions of extreme exploitation continues to grow. The largest strike at Ryanair has already shown the potential for a common cross-border struggle by European workers. …

Reporters from the World Socialist Web Site asked if Cockpit [German pilots’ union Vereinigung Cockpit; VC] supported Ryanair employees enjoying the same conditions in all countries.  …

In his reply, the VC contract expert Ingolf Schumacher made clear that the union rejects an international perspective and accepts the blackmail of Ryanair management, “Unfortunately, we are, in Europe, in a situation where the employer here uses all the rights that the EU offers, for example, the freedom of establishment, etc.”, explained Schumacher. “But when it comes to the union in such transnational businesses acting defensively to effect something through strikes, then at least in German law covering industrial action we reach our limit. That’s why we cannot do this.”

From British daily The Morning Star, 9 August 2018:

GERMANY: Hundreds of Ryanair flights were cancelled yesterday after German pilots confirmed that they would walk out on Friday in a dispute over pay and conditions.

The Vereinigung Cockpit union said no improved offer had been received since they voted 96 per cent in favour of strike action in June.

This 12 July 2018 video says about itself:

Irish Ryanair pilots walk out over low pay, poor working conditions

Some 30 Ryanair flights have been cancelled this Thursday as the low-cost carrier sees its first industrial action since recognising unions in December. Ryanair’s Irish pilots are on strike to push for better pay and working conditions.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Ryanair suing not surprising: the Netherlands prohibits strikes more often

Today are the summary proceedings of Ryanair against the Dutch pilots’ union VNV. The airline wants to prevent Dutch pilots from striking tomorrow, together with their colleagues in Belgium, Germany, Sweden and Ireland.

Remarkably, the Netherlands is the only country where Ryanair is taking legal action. That does not seem to be without reason, because a ban has more chance here than in those other countries. …

The pilots’ unions in Germany and Ireland also say that they are not surprised that only in the Netherlands a lawsuit has been filed. They recognize the situation that judges in the Netherlands are more inclined to limit the right to strike than in their countries. …

[Dutch labour law professor] Verhulp thinks that the harsh attitude of the judiciary in the Netherlands is a bad thing. He points out that stopping work is a fundamental right. “Judges in the Netherlands are weighing interests: how much damage do the passengers suffer and how much could it do for the pilots, but you can not easily consider a fundamental right like striking to be worth less than other interests.”

UPDATE: Dutch judge allows Ryanair workers’ strike. The pilots demand that Ryanair applies Dutch labour law, not more unfavourable Irish labour law.

STRIKING pilots grounded one in six Ryanair flights yesterday as they started a 24-hour stoppage in five countries at the peak holiday season: here.

Pilots at the Dublin, Ireland-based low-cost airline Ryanair went on strike Friday in Ireland, Belgium, Sweden, the Netherlands and Germany to demand improvements in working conditions, forcing the company to scrap 400 of its scheduled 2,400 European flights: here.

Ryanair: The suicide of Captain Jouke Schrale: here.

USA: Richard Russell, a ground crew worker for Horizon Air, was found dead Friday after taking an airplane from a maintenance area at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and going on an hour-long joyride before crashing onto a largely unpopulated island in the Puget Sound near Tacoma, Washington. The tragic circumstances surrounding Russell’s death have called renewed attention to the working conditions experienced by ground crew workers at Horizon and throughout the airline industry: here.

11 thoughts on “International Ryanair workers’ strike

  1. I read the news today and heard so many things about this where the company just want to get more profit than the passengers comfort. Luckily I never fly with them, so really can’t comment much.


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