The UK cabin crew of low-cost airline Ryanair have agreed to a new pay and employment contract. The contract outlines new, improved salaries for the airline’s UK cabin crew, as well as an improved on-off shift pattern.
Unite members of Ryanair’s UK cabin crew revealed yesterday that they have voted to accept a new, improved employment contract. Airwise reported on the new, four-year deal which guarantees a number of improved employment conditions for Ryanair’s UK cabin crew employees.
In a press statement sent to Simple Flying, Ryanair said,
“This CLA will deliver a new pay structure with increased guaranteed income along with an industry leading 5/3 roster.”
The agreement on the new terms of employment comes after members of Unite the Union voted 80% in favour of the deal. Ryanair cabin crews from Italy, Spain, Portugal and Belgium have also recently engaged in strike action over what they claimed were unfair working hours.
The carrier employs crew from many different countries to serve on all its main international routes. As a result, the airline has disputed calls for cabin crew employment rights based upon country of origin, as it claims its aircraft are technically Irish.
The new pay deal only affects Ryanair’s cabin crews in the UK, and will not extend to the airline’s pilots, who have been engaged in their own dispute over increased pay.
What has been going on with Ryanair’s pilots?
Ryanair cabin crew staff aren’t the only ones who have disputed their pay with their employer. Ryanair Pilots belonging to the British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) have taken a number of strike days over the past month.
Despite no formal agreement of new employment conditions with Ryanair, the Ryanair BALPA pilots called off upcoming strike dates. The pilots had five days of strikes planned for 21, 23, 25, 27 and 29 September.
A statement released by BALPA on 20 September said,
“The British Airline Pilots Association today cancelled five further days of strike action in Ryanair. This comes despite the fact that the relationship between Ryanair and its pilots in the UK and elsewhere remains acrimonious.”
Spanish Ryanair pilots have also planned five days of strikes for 19, 20, 22, 27 and 29 September. This strike, organised by Sindicato Español de Pilotos de Líneas Aéreas (SEPLA), is separate to the UK Ryanair pilot strike.
The Spanish Ryanair pilot strike has been organised in protest of Ryanair’s decision to close five airports in Spain and Portugal, which could result in as many as 100 local pilots losing their jobs.
Have the strikes at Ryanair been effective?
Although Ryanair’s UK cabin crew employees will be pleased about their new pay package, strike action clearly hasn’t been as effective for other groups of staff. The airline has been able to escape most of the disruption striking pilots had hoped to inflict.
The strike by BALPA Ryanair pilots on 18 September resulted in a grand total of zero cancelled flights. Additionally, 98% of the airline’s first wave flights were on time. Ryanair has been criticised by its decision to punish striking pilots with fewer shift hours.
It seems the pilots’ strikes have not been effective enough to draw any concessions from the airline yet.