Are Ryanair staff going on strike? Spain cabin crew action explained and what to do if flight is affected

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Spanish staff at the low budget airline are set to walk out, putting flights to the southern European destination at risk

Spanish Ryanair staff are set to strike this summer, the airline’s main union has confirmed.

The USO Union said today staff based in Spain will stage a walk out in late June and early July after a dispute over working conditions.

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The union, alongside labour organisation SITCPLA, has previously demanded an uplift in working conditions and said staff would have “no other option” but to strike if their demands were not met by Ryanair bosses.

Here’s everything you need to know about the situation.

Spanish Ryanair staff are set to strike in late June, putting flights to the location in jeopardy for customers. (Credit: Getty Images)Spanish Ryanair staff are set to strike in late June, putting flights to the location in jeopardy for customers. (Credit: Getty Images)
Spanish Ryanair staff are set to strike in late June, putting flights to the location in jeopardy for customers. (Credit: Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

Why are Ryanair staff striking?

USO and SITCPLA met with Ryainair bosses last week to discuss complaints over working conditions from staff.

The two groups have requested a deal which “guarrantees decent work conditions for all personnel”.

According to Bloomberg, the airline walked away from talks with the organisations.

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Following the failed talks, Ryanair said the negotiations have “almost made no progress” as a result of “unrealistic demands and refusal to meaningfully engage” from USO and SITCPLA.

The two labour organisations released a joint statement which said the airline was not willing to create a dialogue to resolve the issues, and accused bosses of acting in bad faith.

Ryainair currently emplys around 1,400 crew members in Spain.

USO and SITCPLA have also said that they are in conversation with five other unions in Belgium, France, Italy and Portugal over proposed strikes if talks continue to stall.

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When will Ryanair strikes take place?

The USO union has proposed that staff stage a walkout on 24, 25,26 and 30 June, as well as 1 and 2 July.

What flights will be affected by Ryanair strikes?

Only Spanish Ryanair staff are expected to strike.

Therefore Ryanair flights outside of those to and from Spain are not expected to be affected.

British travellers travelling to the southern European destination could find their flights delayed or cancelled as a result of the walkout at the end of June and in early July.

However the exact number of flights affected by the proposed action has not been confirmed.

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What has Ryanair said about the strikes?

Ryanair has played down any threat of strikes, stating it does not believe Spanish staff will support the walkout.

A spokesperson for the airline said: “Ryanair has negotiated collective agreements covering 90% of our people across Europe. In recent months we have been negotiating improvements to those agreements as we work through the Covid recovery phase.

“Those negotiations are going well and we do not expect widespread disruption this summer.

“In Spain, we are pleased to have reached a collective agreement with CCOO, Spain’s largest and most representative union, delivering improvements for Spanish-based cabin crew and reinforcing Ryanair’s commitment to the welfare of its cabin crew.

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“These announcements by the much smaller USO and SITCPLA unions are a distraction from their own failures to deliver agreements after three years of negotiations and we believe that any strikes they call will not be supported by our Spanish crews.”

What should I do if my Ryanair flight is cancelled because of strike action?

Customers who have had their flight cancelled or delayed as a result of industrial action pertaining to airline staff are entitled to compensation.

Accodring to FairPlane UK, not every flight is eligible for compensation however.

You can claim compensation for an affected flight if you are flying between two EU countries on any airline, if you fly from an EU country to a non-EU country from any airline or if you fly from an EU country to a non-EU country with an EU airline.

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Under UK and EU regulations, Ryanair customers who experience delays or three hours or more are entitled to up to £520 per person if the airline is responsible for the delay.

If your flight is cancelled less than 14 days before it was due to depart, Ryanair should pay customers up to £520 per person.

This will not be appliciable if the airline is able to offer a replacement flight with similar departure and arrival times to the original flights.

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