Baggage handlers at Madrid Barajas airport are on the third day of an open-ended strike, causing problems for Ryanair passengers who are being forced to take hand luggage only.
The ground crew are striking because of the low cost airline’s plans to slash their salaries by 20 - 30 percent, as well as several other issues such as changes to shift patterns, holiday leave and lack of adequate safety equipment.
Ryanair has confirmed to The Local Spain via its Twitter account that as of Monday, June 1st, the airline is only accepting hand luggage.
@TheLocalSpain That is correct, all flights from and to Madrid accept only hand luggage. IK— Ryanair (@Ryanair) June 1, 2015
If passengers do have luggage to check in, Ryanair is currently offering to move passengers’ flights to an alternative airport or an alternative date, free of charge.
@TheLocalSpain At the moment we offer a free move to an alternative airport, or to an alternative date. IK— Ryanair (@Ryanair) June 1, 2015
The ground crew are striking because of the "working conditions, abuse and threats" to which they are subjected, the CTA union said in a statement.
Unions are claiming the Irish airline is refusing to negotiate with them on workers’ salaries.
Further problems for travellers will occur later this month with four days of strikes being called by air-traffic controllers across Spain.
The strikes have been called for June 8th, 10th, 12th and 14th in two hour periods between 10am-12pm and 6pm-8pm.