Simon Calder comments on planned Ryanair strike action
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A second round of Ryanair cabin crew strikes in Spain kicked off today. July 12 is the first of 12 days of planned strike action.
As of 9am, at least eight Ryanair flights in Spain had been cancelled with departures from Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Madrid, Valencia and Ibiza affected.
There have also been flight delays reported at Barcelona El Prat airport with passengers facing long waits.
The staff are taking industrial action over an ongoing pay dispute and are asking for better working conditions.
Strikes are also set to take place on July 13, 14 and 15 and continue on July 18, 19, 20 and 21.
There will be further industrial action on July 25, 26, 27 and 28 if an agreement isn’t reached with Ryanair.
The strikes will coincide with action taken by easyJet cabin crew in Spain which is set to start on Friday July 15.
The UK Government issued a travel warning for British tourists after the strikes were announced.
It said: “Planned strike action in July may cause some disruption to easyJet and Ryanair flights to and from Spain.
“If you think your travel plans may be affected, you should consult your airline for the latest travel updates.”
Almost 2,000 Ryanair staff are taking part in the strikes across the 10 budget airline bases in Spain.
The airports likely to be affected are Madrid, Barcelona, Girona, Malaga, Seville, Valencia, Alicante, Santiago de Compostela, Palma de Mallorca and Ibiza.
easyJet has three bases in Spain (Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca and Ibiza) which could be primarily affected by strike action.
Despite the strikes, some Ryanair flights are still expected to operate in Spain with striking staff onboard.
A ruling by the Spanish Government to protect the right of people to travel means that striking staff are required to operate some staff.
However, cabin crew will likely just perform the safety briefing and will not perform extra duties such as serving refreshments.
The USO and Sitcpla unions, which represent the Ryanair workers, have argued that staff are treated like “third-class workers”.
They have said they are calling on Ryanair to respect “basic labour rights and court rulings”.
Lidia Arasanz, secretary general of the USO union, claimed: “Ryanair is the only international company in our country without a collective workers’ agreement.”
USO said cabin crew are not entitled to bank holidays in lieu and are not allowed to drink water on planes.
Passengers with cancelled flights are entitled to new flights on their intended day of travel if one is available.
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