Ryanair’s Portuguese crew went on strike on Wednesday, with the low-cost airline warning passengers that a small number of flights could be affected and the government ordering workers to provide a minimum service to avoid chaos.
The five-day strike organized by the Portuguese union SNPVAC is the first of a wave of layoffs planned by the unions in Ireland, Great Britain and Spain. This comes one year after strikes over wages and working conditions forced the biggest low-cost carrier in Europe to cancel hundreds of flights.
Ryanair said on Tuesday a small number of fights from its Portuguese bases might be affected by minor schedule changes and that affected customers had been notified. There are no delays or cancellations reported so far at Lisbon, Porto and Faro airports.
Management has stated that significant progress has been made since last year’s strikes, as collective agreements have been concluded with a number of pilot unions throughout Europe, but SNPVAC has stated that Ryanair has refused to comply with a protocol signed last November, which included a leave allowance, 22 days of annual leave per year and full compliance of Portuguese parental legislation.
At the peak of the summer season, the Portuguese government has defined a minimum service for Ryanair and its staff, including a daily round trip between Lisbon and London.
Unions representing cabin crew members in Spain said their strike plans on 10 days of next month were still valid after more than seven hours of talks with the airline that had resulted on Tuesday without agreement.
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