Friday, 10 August 2018

Strike woes for Ryanair as flights are cancelled

Ryanair pilots and crews are striking across five European countries today in a dispute over pay and conditions, which has lead to the cancellation of nearly 400 flights. This latest strike to hit Ryanair involves staff from Germany, Sweden, Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands and could be the first of many pan European strike days by the various unions. Ingolf Schumacher of Germany's Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) union, said pilots should be prepared for "a very long battle" and it would take months to push through change at the low-fare-high-fee carrier.

The airline says 396 flights have had to been cancelled as a result of what it claims as 'regrettable and unjustified' action. As the average passenger capacity of a Ryanair aircraft is 189, as many as 74,844 people could be affected by the strikes.  Far less than Ryanair disrupted last year in its monumental cock-up over pilot rosters saw the cancellation of hundreds of flights. However, indications are that the true number of people affected would be 50,000 and the airline says it has re-accommodated most on alternative flights.

Ryanair's management says it made every effort to resolve the dispute with staff, although threatening  to move aircraft and jobs away from any location where staff take legal industrial action, giving 90 day redundancy notices to more than 300 staff, issuing misleading press statements regarding the amount flight crews earn, isn't perhaps the finest example of making every effort!

The airline has also been accused of breaking employment laws in Belgium where some striking staff held up banners in the airport saying "Ryanair must change- Respect us". Didier Lebbe, of ACV-CSC union, said, "Ryanair is the only multinational in Belgium that doesn't respect the Belgian law and that's not normal," 

Ryanair staff at various airports are again telling passengers they are not entitled to compensation, however all legal opinion is that this is wrong and affected passengers are legally entitled to claim compensation under EU261 legislation (Most will be entitled to €250 / £225 as flights are mostly under 1500kms) which is in addition to a full refund or the cost alternative flights as the cancellation is within 14 days. 

Ryanair's statement-