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Spain’s Ryanair pilots and crew support “European” strike day 

Just a few hours after the end of a 24-hour walkout by Ryanair pilots and cabin crew in Germany, the low-cost airline is facing further disruption as unions from five countries confirm a strike on September 28th.

The industrial action supported by staff in Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands is expected to lead to cancellations and more countries may yet join in.

Ryanair has accused the unions of not wanting to meet or negotiate but representatives say this is not true and “we have the paperwork to prove it”.

They claim the airline wants to negotiate with the individual unions of the countries involved whilst workers want a collective agreement.

“Ryanair has once again demonstrated that it is not willing to comply with the legislation of the country in which it operates. The answer that they will have is this strike and the denunciations and subsequent strikes that we consider necessary from a freedom of association that is no longer subject to medieval chains,” said the two Spanish unions involved, the USO and Sitcpla. They are being backed by UILTrasporti and FILT-CGIL for Italy; the Portuguese SNPVAC; CNE / Belgian LBC and FNV of the Netherlands.

The unions say they have already registered the strike date and “are waiting expectantly to know what attitude the company will present.”

The USO in Spain says: “”With respect to passengers, we have already seen during the previous strikes the treatment they have received from the company and the support they have given us. We are sorry to provoke a new setback and we have tried to notify as soon as possible, but it is necessary to cut the problem at the root so that in the future the company complies with the legislation for workers and users.”

The strike was announced following a meeting with the European Commission. The walkout is once again over pay and conditions.

Ryanair disputes there will be disruption on September 28th and expects the vast majority of its cabin crew across Europe will work as normal. It also expects a significant majority of its cabin crew in Spain, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Portugal will also work normally, as they have during previous strikes, and accordingly, there will not be any “travel chaos” or “widespread disruptions”.

Ryanair’s Kenny Jacobs told Aviation24: “Repeated false claims made by these unions about “travel chaos” have proven to be unfounded. While we regret the limited strike actions that have taken place this summer, in all cases we have judiciously pre-cancelled a small number of our 2,500 daily flights in order to minimise customer disruption and inconvenience.”

“We object to these lurid and inaccurate press headlines which wrongly to refer to “travel chaos”, despite the fact that during the seven days of partial strikes by a small minority of our pilots and cabin crew this summer, there has been very little disruption and absolutely no “chaos”.

“If there is a further unsuccessful cabin crew strike on the 28th Sept next then, as we demonstrated in Germany, Ryanair will pre-advise customers of a small number of flight cancellations, and the over-whelming majority of Ryan-air’s flights and services that day will operate as normal, and we will carry the overwhelming majority of the 400,000 passengers who will be scheduled to fly with us that day.”

As a result of the strike in Germany on September 12th, Ryanair cancelled 150 of 400 flights.