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Ryanair cabin crew at Charleroi and Zaventem airports on strike 22 to 24 April

Ryanair - Wikimedia Commons
10:18 18/04/2022

Ryanair cabin crew at Brussels National Airport and Brussels South Charleroi Airport will go on a three-day strike from 22 to 24 April, unions have announced.

The action follows failure to find an agreement on wages and bonuses for cabin crew, according to the French-speaking union CNE and Flemish ACV Puls, reports RTBF.

Negotiations over a new collective labour agreement (CCT) between staff representatives and management of the Irish low-cost company took place on Friday.

The Christian unions denounce the fact that Ryanair no longer has a human resources department for its 650 employees in Belgium, including some 400 stewards and hostesses.

For three years, "Ryanair has recognised that it’s subject to Belgian legislation but refuses to invest in a personnel policy. Salary slips are incorrect, salaries are not paid correctly, social documents are not in order. This creates a permanent source of problems for staff in Belgium," said CNE permanent secretary Didier Lebbe.

“Some staff members who are no longer allowed to fly, due to pregnancy for example, have been without pay/benefits for months”, added Hans Elsen, of ACV Puls. "Ryanair has no respect for the welfare of its staff. It’s shameful that such a large company continues to get away with ignoring basic workers' rights in Belgium."

The unions also denounced the fact that 75% of cabin crew received the minimum wage for the sector, despite working early and late shifts, public holidays and weekends. "All this for a paltry gross of €2,000. Although Ryanair has a profit margin of 30% in Charleroi, Belgium's biggest base, and expects to make a profit of €1 billion this year, there’s no margin for an improvement in the purchasing power of workers."

Both organisations also criticised the mechanism for indexing these "low salaries", which does not cover the increase in the cost of living.

An indefinite strike notice was introduced on 1 April by the CNE on behalf of cabin crew based at the two airports in Belgium.

The last strike action at Ryanair in Belgium was in the summer of 2018. Over a period of four days, 172 flights were cancelled or delayed. The company recently reached an amicable agreement with consumer organisation Test Achats/Test Aankoop over compensation for the some 33,000 passengers affected by the strike.

Photo: Courtesy Adrian Pingstone/Wikimedia Commons

Written by The Bulletin