Ryanair strike in Spain

Yesterday afternoon Ryanair workers in Girona airport returned to work after a series of one-day strikes called by the Spanish CCOO trade union to protest about the working conditions of Ryanair ground staff in Spanish airports.

According to the trade union, Ryanair has failed to implement a workers’ agreement signed between the low cost airline and union reps last year referring to working hours, wages and conditions. The Spanish union workers criticise the long working hours Ryanair ground staff are required to work, safety on the runways and the fact that Ryanair does not recognise the rights of trade union membership.

Yesterday was the third of a series of one-day strikes called by the union when Ryanair failed to send a management representative to a negotiation meeting called by the Department of Transport to try to settle the dispute.

In the end yesterday’s strike only lasted half a day as Ryanair staff returned to work in the afternoon, meaning that passengers on Ryanair flights were able to check in their luggage after all and there was no repetition of the chaotic scenes of last Friday when Ryanair passengers had to choose between trying to wear all of the items of clothing in their suitcase, or staying with their luggage in the airport until the following day.

Ryanair has accused trade union representatives at the airport of Girona of “harrassing” Ryanair ground staff and in a press release yesterday evening claimed that the union had “failed on three occasions to halt Ryanair operations or to persuade a majority of staff to support their actions”. In the same release, the company suggests the union workers should “go home and turn their attention to the inefficient practices in the high fare airlines, such as Iberia, who actually employ them”.

Guide to Girona