Ryanair strike foiled as Spanish government makes it ILLEGAL for most staff to strike

Government of Catalonia fines Ryanair €40,000 for 'unfair' commercial practices

Image of Ryanair aircraft. Image: Ryanair Press Office

A decree passed by the Spanish government making it illegal to strike has seen the Ryanair cabin crew strike have little impact.

A scheduled strike by Ryanair cabin crew started this Friday, June 24, but went largely unnoticed in Spain. The reason behind this is that the Spanish government had acted in advance of the action, and declared it illegal for staff to go on strike, according to dailymail.co.uk.

Depending on the destination, measures were implemented to protect the service, which subsequently that between 36 and 82 per cent of Friday’s flights would operate, stipulated as ‘minimum services’.

Union bosses were of course upset by this move, but it meant that customers of the budget airline were still able to fly. Ryanair had announced that despite the threat of industrial action, its intention was to operate all flights out of Spanish airports as normal.

Speaking on Friday morning, Ester Peyro, the spokeswoman for USO, Syndicated Workers Union (USO) accused the airline of acting illegally. She also admitted that little impact had been caused by the strike.

‘We believe stoppages are not going to have a great follow-up and that the impact will be minimal’, predicted Eddie Wilson, the Ryanair CEO on Thursday, June 23. ‘Even if cabin crew are going to go on strike, they have to operate those flights by law’, he pointed out, in reference to the protected flights.

Mr Wilson added: ‘If you are a striker and you put on a protected flight you have to operate that flight. There is also a large number of our people who want to work as normal’.

‘Ryanair has decided that all the flights it was going to operate today from any of its bases in Spain were minimum services. It hasn’t respected the percentages of flights that didn’t have to be minimum services’, commented Mrs Peyro.

She detailed: ‘It has summoned all its workforce in Spain as minimum services and they have to respect that order because if not they’ll be fired the following day’.

‘Basically, all Ryanair has done is breach the right of workers to strike, workers that after five years of protests and negotiations and industrial action, still endure working conditions that do not respect Spanish legislation’, she added.

Late on Thursday, June 23, after being sent a list of the flights that the airline intended to operate, Ryanair had been informed in writing by both the USO and Sitcpla unions that they were allegedly in breach of the ‘minimum services’ decree from the Spanish Ministry of Transport. 

‘Ryanair is sending us an illegal order, which clearly contravenes the Ministry of Transport decree, which was already an abusive decree itself’, said a statement from USO. Manuel Lodeiro, the spokesman for Sitcpla added, ‘As workers, we feel completely betrayed by the state of law in which we supposedly live in. No state body protects our fundamental rights’.

Further strike action is planned for June 30 and July 1 by Ryanair cabin crew, and it is thought that the airline will again summon all its workers to keep flights operational. Strikes are also being planned by Easyjet workers, from Spanish airports, including Palma and Malaga. These are scheduled on July 1-3, 15-17, and 29-31.


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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com