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Ryanair cabin crew in Spain planning 10 days of strikes

The September stoppages, which have yet to be confirmed, are caused by plans to shut down three bases

Ryanair
Cabin crew in Spain are threatening 10 days of strikes. REUTERS

Spanish unions representing Ryanair cabin crew are threatening 10 days of strikes in September over the airline’s plans to shut down bases in Gran Canaria, Tenerife and Girona.

The Sitcpla and USO unions on Wednesday lodged a notice of their plans for industrial action on September 1, 2, 6, 8, 13, 15, 20, 22, 27 and 28.

The Irish low-cost carrier operates 13 bases in Spain, all of which would be affected by the stoppages.

Following Spanish legislation, company and union leaders will now be called to a mediation. If no deal emerges, a formal notice of strike will be filed with the relevant authorities.

We do not have the slightest hope of reaching any kind of understanding

Jairo Gonzalo, USO union representative

Jairo Gonzalo, an official at USO, questioned the company’s “willingness to reach a deal, or even to come to the meeting with a negotiating attitude.”

“Over a year’s worth of meetings at official Spanish institutions at which they routinely displayed a mocking attitude does not give us the slightest hope of reaching any kind of understanding,” he added.

The protests are a result of Ryanair’s plans to shut down its Las Palmas and Tenerife Sur bases on January 8, as well as its Girona base at an undisclosed date. There are 300 cabin crew employees working at those bases, although Ryanair did not say how many would be laid off.

The company says the decision is based on delays in the delivery of the grounded Boeing 737 MAX, rising fuel prices and higher labor costs.

Meanwhile, Ryanair pilots in Spain are also considering industrial action of their own. The pilot union Sepla said the closure of the three bases could lead to as many as 100 layoffs among aircraft captains. The airline faced a series of pilot and cabin crew strikes across Europe last year.

English version by Susana Urra.

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