Ryanair strike: union expects more flights to be cancelled

At Charleroi airport Ryanair flew over cabin crew from other European bases to break the strike that has begun today. Because of this the union expects discontent to grow over the next few days, with possibly more flights cancelled.

Ryanair's Belgian-based stewards and stewardesses are laying down work two weekends in a row this Christmas holiday: from Friday 30 December to Sunday 1 January, and the weekend of 7 and 8 January. The unions are denouncing the attitude of the Irish budget airline, which they say still refuses to pay the legal minimum wage in Belgium. Some 60 round-trip flights had already been cancelled this morning. According to the union official, between 150 and 200 people in Charleroi are taking part in the action.

The union was apprehensive beforehand about using foreign staff. Union official Didier Lebbe (CNE) believes that of the 15 aircraft based at Charleroi, six were staffed with cabin crew from other bases on Friday morning. However, the pilots threatened on Thursday evening that they would also lay down work if the management tried to circumvent the action that way. That threat was not yet substantiated Friday afternoon.

Lebbe expects discontent to grow over the next few days, with possibly more flights cancelled. "At Ryanair, there are many newcomers and it is always difficult to mobilise those people. Nevertheless, we are getting echoes from the shop floor that there is a chance they will be involved and the mobilisation will be bigger next week."

Next Saturday, 7 January, the union will also hold a rally in front of the Bergen courthouse. "We will leave at 10 am at the airport by bus to the courthouse, where all our complaints will be heard," the unionist said.



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