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Ryanair passengers to Portugal and Italy face threat of cabin crew strikes in June


File photo of a Ryanair uniform. Photo: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir.

File photo of a Ryanair uniform. Photo: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir.

File photo of a Ryanair uniform. Photo: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir.

Ryanair cabin staff in Portugal and Italy plan to strike in late June, Reuters reports.

SNPVAC, Portugal's union of civil aviation personnel, said workers would walk out on June 24, 25 and 26, demanding better working conditions.

"This mobilisation is not only an opportunity to put the spotlight on multiple attacks on workers' dignity and to make this reality known but also a moment to show unity and solidarity against dumping", the union said.

Meanwhile, in Italy, the FILT-CGIL and UIL Trasporti unions said Ryanair staff and crew have called a 24-hour strike for June 25, seeking improved pay and conditions.

The news follows an announcement by unions representing some of Ryanair’s cabin staff in Spain that they plan to strike from June 24-26 and June 30 to July 2, following pay disputes.

The threats may not play out, and it is unclear how many flights or destinations may be affected, but they come as peak holiday season ramps up and travellers already face anxieties over airport delays.

Ryanair said SNPVAC represents less than 3pc of its cabin crew in Portugal and that it did not expect widespread disruption this summer.

“Ryanair has negotiated collective agreements covering 90pc of our people across Europe,” a spokesperson said.

"In recent months we have been negotiating improvements to those agreements as we work through the Covid recovery phase. Those negotiations are going well and we do not expect widespread disruption this summer.

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“In Portugal, we concluded a Collective Labour Agreement for our cabin crew in 2021 with STTAMP union (Sindicato dos Trabalhadores dos Transportes de Portugal), the largest and most representative union for Ryanair cabin crew in Portugal.

"Last month we concluded an extension to this CLA which now runs to 2026 and which delivers improvements for Portuguese-based cabin crew, reinforcing Ryanair’s commitment to the welfare of its cabin crew.

“The recent announcement by SNPVAC union is a distraction from their own failure to deliver agreements after three years of negotiations and their strike calls will not be supported by our Portuguese crews.”

Regarding the threat of strikes in Italy, Ryanair said the unions in question “do not have the support of our crew and for that reason are not recognised by Ryanair.”

“We recognise three major, representative Italian Unions (FIT CISL, ANPAC, ANPAV) with whom we have negotiated Collective Labour Agreements which cover all of our Italian crew.”

The threats follow flight cancellations to Italy and France after air traffic controller strikes last week, and Ryanair’s Spanish unions have said they may also look to co-ordinate action elsewhere in Europe.

Its Italian unions said they also expected stoppages in France and Belgium.

French cabin crew at Ryanair also went on strike on Sunday and Monday demanding better pay and working conditions, Reuters reported, adding that more than 40 flights had to be cancelled.

- This story has been updated to reflect developments and add statements by Ryanair.

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