The strike planned by cabin crew working for Irish low-cost airline Ryanair in Spain could cause total chaos in the country’s airports, given doubts over whether staff will cover the minimum level of services required under Spanish law. The problem lies with the fact that these employees have Irish work contracts, and as such are not subject to the labor regulations of Spain.
The Spanish government is working against the clock to avoid a conflict that could cause unprecedented problems, potentially leaving 200,000 passengers grounded
The Spanish government is working against the clock to avoid a conflict that could cause unprecedented problems, potentially leaving 200,000 passengers grounded on the days of the stoppages, July 25 and 26.
There are currently two fronts open on the part of the executive. The first is being handled by the government’s labor department (DGT), which has urgently summoned Ryanair executives to a meeting today with the Spanish unions USO and Sitcpla, which have called the stoppages. The aim is to reach a negotiated deal and call off the strikes.
The second involves the Public Works Ministry, which has tasked state legal services with producing a report to determine whether Spanish legislation covering minimum services during strikes such as this one is applicable, given that this is an unprecedented situation in Spain, whereby those called to strike do not have national contracts, but are instead subject to the laws of another country – in this case Ireland. Not a single cabin crew employee of the 1,800 called to strike next week has a Spanish work contract.
Ironically, the main reason behind the work stoppage is union demands for cabin crew in Spain to be subject to national labor laws
Ironically, the main reason behind the work stoppage is union demands for cabin crew in Spain to be subject to national labor laws, as well as for there to be equal working conditions for staff employed directly by Ryanair and those who work for the company via temping agencies.
Until now, all attempts at reaching a solution have failed. On Monday, a meeting between company chiefs and unions at the Public Works Ministry to establish minimum services failed to reach a deal, after the company demanded 100% of minimum services for all flights. A week before, negotiations that took place at the headquarters of the Spanish state arbitration service, SIMA, also failed.
English version by Simon Hunter.