Ryanair cabin crews in Italy, Portugal, Spain and Belgium have announced a 24-hour strike on 25-26 July.
Another strike on Thursday, July 12 should mostly affect passengers travelling from Ireland.
The company dismisses the industrial action as “blackmail”; until December 2017, the Irish company did engage with unions and refused collective bargaining.
There are now a number of European unions representing cabin crews, including Belgium’s CNE/LBC, Spain’s SITCPLA and USO, Portugal’s SNPVAC and Italy’s Ultrasporti.
In a joint statement, the unions claim that Ryanair is practising “social dumping” and does not abide by EU member states employment regulation.
Ryanair is the biggest budget airline in Europe, servicing over 130 million passengers and 37 countries in 2017.
The latest industrial actions is spearheaded by crews that want to be paid their salaries in their home country rather than the Republic of Ireland. Unions make clear that further action should be expected if Ryanair does not take onboard some of their demands.
Ryanair’s Chief People Officer Eddie Wilson claims that the strike does not have a “democratic mandate” as it is opposed by the overwhelming majority of Irish pilots, the public broadcaster RTÉ News reports.
The Irish pilots’ union (IALPA) supports the strike, although Ryanair claims that only 27% of its own pilots are behind industrial action. However, 94 out of its 95 Ryanair pilots voted in support of industrial action.
Ryanair will issue an update notice to passengers on Tuesday, when it is clear which flights it can cover with volunteer crews and pilots. The strike comes in peak tourist season, following repeated strikes by air traffic controllers across Europe in June.