Spanish unions call off Ryanair strike after deal

Unions representing 1,800 Ryanair cabin crew in Spain said Wednesday they had called off a strike planned for later this week after reaching a deal with the airline following months of fraught negotiations.

Spanish unions call off Ryanair strike after deal
Photo: AFP

The Sitcpla and USO unions said in a statement they had “finally reached an agreement” with Ryanair in the early hours of Wednesday after 19 hours of marathon talks.

As such, they decided to call off strikes planned for January 10 and 13 but said the deal still had to be ratified by cabin crew.   

The statement said the agreement “guarantees job stability, betters working conditions”.

It also meets the unions' main demand — that cabin crew in Spain be employed under Spanish labour legislation rather than that of Ireland as had been the case for many.

Ryanair was not immediately available for comment.   

The no-frills airline was hit by a series of strikes Europe-wide last year as its employees complained about their working conditions.   

In July, strikes by cockpit and cabin crew disrupted 600 flights in Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain, affecting 100,000 travellers.   

Then on September 28, cabin crew walked out again in Germany, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain and in some countries pilots' unions also took action.

In November, Spain's labour ministry said it had found the budget carrier guilty of violating cabin crew's right to strike by calling or emailing employees to see if they would stop work.

It also said Ryanair had obstructed labour inspections and threatened to fine the airline.

The carrier had so far managed to clinch labour agreements with staff in several countries including Britain, Germany, Portugal and Italy.   

Spain is Ryanair's third biggest market. The airline has 13 of its 89 bases in the country.

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