“Ryanair has decided, inanely and without any management criteria, to start a new collective redundancy process, now at the Lisbon Base, involving six crew members, who curiously refused to sign, despite pressure from Ryanair, an addendum, that as the union warned at the time, is illegal,” the SNPVAC said in a statement.
The union also points out that it became aware that Ryanair resumed, on 1 December this year, the process of the collective dismissal of cabin crew at the base of Porto, which affected 23 people. In the statement, it says this process “is nothing more than a reprisal” to the crew members involved and “completely refutes” the argument that “there is an excess” of crew members at the bases in Portugal.
In addition, the union recalls, “once again”, that the airline, “could opt” for measures provided for by law, as it did in April and May, and that they would “mitigate their costs without having to resort to dismissal”.
Ryanair’s latest decision is seen as “disrespectful” by the SNPVAC board, and “wrong”, as in recent weeks it has shown “full willingness to talk, engage in dialogue and negotiate”, even if it had to “overcome certain statutes” as it believed that the two institutions “would be truly committed” to finding a “credible solution for no redundancies”, it reads in the note released.
The union points out that this new collective redundancy follows Ryanair’s public announcement to increase flights to Porto in December and January due to increased demand this Christmas. The dismissal comes after the announcement of the acquisition of 75 Boeing 737 Max, which “demonstrates the prospect of growth as early as next year”, as the executive chairman, Michael O’Leary, expected to receive 50 aircraft of this model as early as 2021, the SNPVAC points out.
It also claims that the dismissal comes when the use of crew members from other bases in lay-off, to fill the shortage of workers in the bases in Portugal, caused by the increase in the number of flights, when the company is conducting training courses for new crew members and when the latest forecasts point to an effective recovery already on 2021, greatly influenced by the emergence of the vaccine that led to a sharp increase in demand and reserves.
The SNPVAC board questions how it was possible for Ryanair to “agree with other professional classes” of the company and asks “what else should cabin crew give up?! Your rights enshrined in Portuguese law?” reads the statement. Furthermore, the SNPVAC accuses the low-cost Irish airline of “continuing to toast us with its claims of disrespect to the country and its laws.”
On 5 December, in a written reply to Lusa, Ryanair regretted that the SNPVAC had not reached consensus onan agreement with the airline, stating that, for that reason, it had to move towards a collective redundancy.
“On the 13 November, after intense negotiations, Ryanair signed an agreement with SNPVAC,” the airline said in this response, adding that “regrettably, the agreement signed was not accepted by union members” so that, “as a result”, they have to “deal with the current excess cabin crew, moving forward with a collective redundancy”. However, the SNPVAC awaits the appointment of an audience requested by the Minister of Infrastructure, Pedro Nuno Santos, to denounce what it classifies as “authentic attack on a class”, as well as “the total collusion of regional and national institutions of this country, which allow a company that constantly tramples on the law, to be awarded incentives and subsidies, thus harming national companies that comply with the law”.