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Belgium-based Ryanair staff threaten action over holiday season

12:03 22/11/2022

Belgian-based Ryanair staff are threatening action over the holiday season if the Irish low-cost airline continues to get away with “flouting the laws,” warned the ACV Puls and CNE trade unions.

The two Christian unions wrote an open letter to this effect to employment minister Pierre-Yves Dermagne and justice minister Vincent Van Quickenborne, reports RTBF.

"Since it moved to Belgium, Ryanair has continued to flout the laws," denounced ACV Puls permanent secretary Hans Elsen. He recognised that the situation had improved in 2018 after the first staff strikes, but pointed out that this occurred without assistance from public authorities.

The union official said the low-cost company continued to disrespect Belgian labour legislation, and he lamented the lack of action by authorities.

If services such as the national social security office (ONSS) attempt to do their job by recording infringements, judicial authorities do not follow up, regretted Didier Lebbe of the CNE, who denounced the situation as "completely incomprehensible".

He referred to Ryanair’s recent decision to temporarily close its Brussels Airport base at Zaventem, offer employees work at the Charleroi airport, and subsequently decide to make them work blocks of a few days in other European bases. “This is perfectly illegal," said the union permanent secretary.

"The monopoly exercised by the company must stop. Ryanair staff members are not pawns," he insisted, pointing out that some were young parents who couldn’t easily work at a base outside of Belgium.

CNE and ACV Puls appealed to the two federal ministers to exercise their authority and put an end to this. They warned that with the end-of-year celebrations approaching, if no action was forthcoming from Ryanair or the Belgian authorities, there was a good chance that staff would express their anger via action.

Photo: Piotr Mileski/Ryanair

Written by The Bulletin