“Stop these meaningless protests” says Ryanair
Conflict, concern and controversy, just three of the emotions being generated as cabin crew with Ryanair Spain continue their industrial action over the base closures of Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Girona.
The ten strike days were called for September 1, 2 , 6, 8, 13, 15, 20, 22, 27 and 29 but union officials are furious over the lack of impact.
Most Ryanair flights have been operating as normal, though many have not had a bar service due to the strike. But otherwise, says the USO, passengers might not have even realised a protest was in progress.
By law, the workers have to abide by a minimum service which would have had some effect on flights. According to the union, however, Ryanair has brought in new staff from other parts of Europe to cover the gaps and therefore negate the impact of the strike.
The USO says it is formulating a dossier of complaints against Ryanair which it is to raise at a national level.
“Ryanair is violating our legitimate right to strike,” claimed Gustavo Silva, gene-ral secretary of USO-Ryanair.
The low-cost airline has confirmed it will close its bases in Tenerife south, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Girona in January. The union believes 512 jobs are at risk. There are 164 employees in Girona, 156 in Tenerife south, 110 in Gran Canaria and 82 in Lanzarote.
Ryanair says the closure of the bases is “irreversible” and has asked the unions to stop their “meaningless” protests.
“Bases such as those located in the Canary Islands generate large losses during the winter season,” says the airline, because “almost all of its traffic originates abroad, so it can be serviced by airplanes based in other countries of the European Union (EU), without the high costs and inefficiency resulting from basing airplanes and crew in the archipelago during the period from November to March. “
The company said the very low cancellation rate of flights is due to the “great work of the great majority of Spanish pilots and cabin crew who have already confirmed that they will operate according to their scheduled schedule or vo-lunteer to work on their days off, in order not to alter the travel plans of customers and their families in September. This way, they will avoid even more job losses and cuts in Spain this winter.”
The Spanish Confederation of Hotels and Tourist Acco-mmodation says it is concern-ed about the effect of the base closures on Canary tourism, even though Ryanair insists flights will still be maintained.
The authorities in the archipelago have already opened talks with other airlines if gaps have to be met.