- IATA/ICAO Code:
- Airline Type:
- Low-Cost Carrier
- Dublin Airport, London Stansted Airport, Milan Bergamo Airport
- Year Founded:
- Airline Group:
- Ryanair Group
- Eddie Wilson
While the fall equinox may be upon us, it seems the summer of strikes will extend into the next season. Unions confirmed in a statement earlier this week that the pilots and cabin crew of both Ryanair and Vueling in Italy will go on strike on Saturday, October 1, over wages and working conditions.
The industrial action of the two low-cost carriers will differ from one another. Ryanair staff will hold a 24-hour walkout. Meanwhile, Vueling crew will only strike for four hours, beginning at 13:00 and returning to work at 17:00. According to trade unions FILT-CGIL and Uiltrasporti, the strike is being organized due to the failure of the airlines to “grant acceptable working conditions and wages that are in line with minimum national salaries.” The statement, dated September 19, reads,
“After the strikes of the last 8 and 25 June and 17 July, a discussion has not yet been opened on the real problems that have afflicted the flight crew Ryanair, Malta Air and CrewLink for months now. The Italian workers continue to claim contracts that guarantee decent working conditions and salaries at least in line with the minimum wages provided for in the national air transport contract of our country.”
The unions want to avoid layoffs from Vueling. Photo: Getty Images
Want talks to avoid Rome layoffs
The unions were also highly critical of the decision by Vueling to let 17 out of 120 flight attendants at the airline’s Rome Fiumicino base go after what they said was a “summer in which the flight crew of the company, demonstrating great commitment and professionalism.” They are calling for IAG (the owner of Vueling) for constructive talks to avoid dismissals. The unions are also seeking to settle issues around maternity and paternity, such as exempting those with small children from nighttime shifts.
As indicated in the trade union statement, this is hardly the first strike over the past few months. While it is unclear how many flights and passengers will be affected by the October 1 action, a strike by pilots and air traffic control staff on July 18 saw 500 flights canceled, with about half of them from Ryanair.
ITA had to cancel several domestic flights due to strikes last Monday. Photo: Getty Images
ITA ground staff went on strike last week
Just Monday last week, the country’s new national carrier, ITA Airways, had to cancel several domestic flights departing from airports in Bologna, Rome, Florence and Venice due to a 24-hour strike by unionized ground staff. However, this did not cause significant disruptions as far from all ground crew are represented by unions participating in the strike.
Regardless of the strike action, not all flights can be lawfully canceled. According to The Local, Italian legislation dictates that flights departing between 07:00 and 10:00, as well as 18:00 to 21:00, operate as scheduled. The Italian Civil Aviation Authority, Ente Nazionale per l’Aviazione Civile or ENAC, can also designate other flights as “essential,” prohibiting their cancelation due to industrial action.
Simple Flying has sought Ryanair and Vueling for comment on the impact of the upcoming October 1 strike but was yet to receive a response at the time of publication.
Source: The Local, FILT CGIL