By Chris King • 22 August 2022 • 19:17
Passengers checking the boards at Malaga airport.
Summer 2022 has been a very trying time for airline passengers travelling to and from Spain, with several flight operators seeing various segments of their workforce taking part in strike actions. These have included Ryanair, easyJet, and Iberia Express.
Two Spanish trade unions have been involved in this industrial action, namely USO (Union Sindical Obrera) and SITCPLA (Independent Union of TCP de Líneas Aereas). The series of strikes have not come to an end either, with more still planned, even stretching into 2023 in some cases.
Three airlines operating routes in and out of Spanish airports are involved in ongoing industrial action at the moment, although it is feared that the action could spread among other operators in the near future.
Ryanair has seen action among its cabin crew (TCP), who have already been out on strike this August. Their staff started striking on August 8, and have already concluded two separate periods of action.
The unions have announced that further action will continue on a weekly basis. Workers will down tools from Monday to Thursday, inclusive, until January 9, 2023, unless the situation with the airline can be resolved.
Strike action by Ryanair cabin crew can affect the 10 bases that the airline operates out of in Spain. These are the facilities in, Sevilla, Malaga, Barcelona, Madrid, Ibiza, Palma de Mallorca, Valencia, Girona, Santiago de Compostella, and Alicante.
Ryanair told the Euro Weekly News: “Ryanair expects no disruptions to its 3,000 daily flights in August or September as a result of poorly supported strikes by two minority cabin crew unions in Spain where Ryanair has already concluded a labour agreement with the main Spanish cabin crew union (the CCOO).”
A Ryanair spokesperson said: “These two tiny unions who represent only a handful of our Spanish cabin crew have held a number of poorly supported “strikes” in June and July which have had little or no impact on Ryanair’s flights to or from Spain. In July alone Ryanair operated over 3,000 daily flights and carried a record 16.8m passengers – many of them to/from Spain”.
They continued: “Ryanair expects that these latest threatened strikes, which involve only a handful of our Spanish cabin crew, will have zero impact on our Spanish flights or schedules in August or September.”
It added: “While a tiny number of Ryanair flights in Spain were cancelled or delayed in July, this was mostly due to ATC strikes and flight delays. No flights were cancelled in July due to these unsuccessful and poorly supported strikes by these two minority unions (USO & SITCPLA) who represent only a small handful of Ryanair Spanish cabin crew”.
“The vast majority of Ryanair’s Spanish cabin crew are represented by the CCOO union who have already reached a labour agreement with Ryanair which covers most of our Spanish cabin crew”, the statement concluded.
Pilots from the Swiss multinational easyJet are demanding their salaries be returned to that of pre-pandemic rates, and have industrial action planned in 72-hour blocks. The remaining dates are over the weekend of August 27, 28, and 29, a time when the concentration of travel is at its highest.
Iberia Express is Spanish airline Iberia’s low-cost variant, and its cabin crew members have decided to call their strike for a period of ten days. According to information published by the USO union, this will start on Monday, August 29, and run until Tuesday, September 6, inclusive.
Other airlines, including British Airways and Lufthansa, are reportedly also facing potential strike action among their employees.
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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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