By Chris King •
Updated: 02 Jul 2022 • 3:49
Passengers checking the boards at Malaga airport.
According to the last update posted at 7pm this Friday, July 1, on the official Twitter profile of USO, the Workers’ Trade Union, five flights were cancelled on the first day of the Easyjet cabin crew strike at Malaga airport. These were flights both in and out of the Costa del Sol facility.
The destinations affected were Birmingham and London, and another nine departures, and ten arrivals, suffered delays said USO. Along with Sitcpla, they are the co-organisers of this industrial action across Spain.
Malaga bore the brunt of the backlash of the strike, with Ryanair having 6 flights cancelled nationwide, and 277 delayed. Easyjet meanwhile had 9 flights cancelled, and 54 delayed across Spain.
Dozens of both Ryanair and Easyjet cabin crew members assembled at the gates of T3 at Malaga Airport early on Friday morning. They are protesting to ask for two extra payments, 14 holidays instead of nine, and to have their salaries brought into line with the rise in inflation.
Miguel Galan, the general secretary of USO-Easyjet in Malaga, as well as at the national level, commented: “We find a very pronounced salary differential between Easyjet workers in Spain and the rest of the European countries”, as reported by malagahoy.es.
Banners held by some of the workers drew attention to this salary difference. The basic salary of a cabin crew member in Portugal, Italy and the United Kingdom exceeds €1,000. In the Netherlands, France, and Germany it comfortably exceeds €1,500, even bordering on €2,000, but in Spain, it is €950.
Easyjet’s strike action is scheduled for July 1, 2, 3, 15, 16, 17, 29, 30, and 31 at its three bases in Barcelona, Malaga, and Palma. According to Galán, the airline’s cabin crew have been “open to negotiating with the company until the last moment”.
He lamented however that “the company has no will to sit down. What it wants is to treat us as if we were cheap labour workers”.
This Friday was the fifth day of Ryanair’s industrial action, which resulted in six flights being suspended in Malaga. They were the connections to Copenhagen in Denmark, Marrakesh in Morocco, and Santiago de Compostela.
Despite the fact that yesterday, Thursday, June 30, the number of trips cancelled by the airline rose to 28, this Friday, normality seemed to be recovering little by little.
Ernesto Iglesias, the USO coordinator in the air sector, has denounced and blamed this situation on the arrival in Spain of workers from foreign bases. “We have just been informed that the labour inspector has caught a number of cabin crew arriving from English and Portuguese bases”, he indicated.
Fernando Martin, from the Sitcpla union, ratified this fact: “Just yesterday, we identified a crew from Cologne in Germany who came to scab the strike”. He criticised Ryanair for trying to “make last-minute changes” by decreeing 100 per cent of the flights as minimum services.
Martin insisted that the workers had clearly not received the letters containing this information, “because they have been able to support the strike”. He affirmed the arrival of cabin crew from Moroccan bases, and confirmed that the negotiation with the airline is “broken”. However, he asks that they “sit down again”.
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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.
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