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Ryanair cabin crew to strike over New Year and weekend to follow
Ryanair cabin crew in Belgium will strike on the last weekend of the year and the first weekend in January, trade unions have announced.
The French-speaking Christian union CNE and Flemish union ACV Puls said staff would strike from 30 December to 1 January, as well as 7 and 8 January, reports RTBF.
In practical terms, only Charleroi would be affected by the two strike weekends with the 15 aircraft parked overnight at the airport unable to take off. However, 50% of scheduled flights would be carried out by aircraft not based at the airport. Disruption is not expected at Brussels Airport as no aircraft have been stationed at Zaventem since the end of October.
The hostesses and stewards of the low-cost airline based at Zaventem (Brussels Airport) and Charleroi (BSCA) airports denounce the Irish company’s refusal to guarantee the legal minimum wage in Belgium. Negotiations for a new collective labour agreement have been stalled for months and have already led to strikes by cabin crew and pilots during the summer.
In addition, the reopening of the Brussels base in Zaventem, which closed at the end of October, is still not guaranteed. The unions point out that the personnel who are still in place there are in an uncertain position and that management said they would take an official position on the matter by Christmas.
"The 'Monopoly' policy, which consists of temporarily and illegally seconding staff to other Ryanair European bases, to Dublin or London for example, has even intensified," denounced Didier Lebbe, permanent secretary of the CNE. He said the company was “pushing” people to resign.
In an open letter on 21 November, the unions warned the authorities (the federal government), Ryanair and passengers that if nothing changed by the end of the year, disruptions were to be expected for the end-of-year holiday period.
Hans Elsen of ACV Puls said: "Via a survey carried out last weekend among cabin crew, 87% of respondents explained to us that, for them, nothing had changed. On the contrary, the situation has therefore even deteriorated."
Photo: © Ryanair