Daily pressure, wages at minimum wage … Ryanair hostesses and stewards on strike

These are usually silent employees who will give voice. At Ryanair, the low-cost airline, several unions of air hostesses and stewards have called to stop work since Friday June 24 and for several days, in Spain, Portugal and Belgium. In Italy and France, the strike begins on Saturday.

>> Strikes in the air sector: “We will continue all summer if necessary”, warns a union

The 300 hostesses and stewards of Ryanair, based on the French bases of the Irish low-cost company (Marseille, Bordeaux, Beauvais and Toulouse) also want to take advantage of the rapid resumption of activity in air transport. First at the level of remuneration: the employees denounce wages at the Smic, truncated by undue professional expenses. “It can be medical visits to keep your license, it can be buying your uniform and maintaining it”explains Christophe Salmon of the National Union of Commercial Aircrew (SNPNC), the main union of hostesses and stewards.

Working conditions at Ryanair are also disputed: problems in calculating paid vacation days, overtime… And the daily pressure of the hierarchy is badly experienced. “When a person is sick, there is no medical secretcontinues Christophe Salmon. At Ryanair, they have to explain themselves and the company asks them to be a little less sick. They are also told that their days on strike are unauthorized absences, whereas in France the right to strike is a constitutional right.”

Ryanair management has been negotiating collective agreements for several months covering 90% of its staff and that the disruptions are minimal. But it measures them across its entire European network. In countries where there are calls for a strike, they are more important. Thus on Friday, the company was not even able to provide half of its flights from its main Belgian base, in Charleroi. French unions are targeting 60% of disrupted flights this weekend.

Strike at Ryanair – Report by Grégoire Lecalot

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