Ryanair strike set to hit tourists in Portugal

in News · 23-08-2019 01:00:00 · 0 Comments
Ryanair strike set to hit tourists in Portugal

Ryanair crews in Portugal are holding a five-day strike and while the government has decreed minimum services, travellers are still expected to face delays.

The strike began on 21 August and, at the time of going to press, was due to continue until 25 August.

Ryanair said that it did not expect significant disruption as a result of the strike, but stressed that it could not rule out some delays or changes to flights.

In a statement to The Portugal News, a spokesman for Ryanair said: “We do not expect any significant disruption to our Portuguese schedules from 21 to 25 August due to this unjustified strike, however we cannot rule out some delays and/or flight changes.

“We will do all we can to minimise disruptions caused to our customers and their families. Customers who have not already received an email or text notification can expect their flights to/from Portugal to operate as normal this week.”

The statement continued: “We wish to thank the majority of Portuguese cabin crew who have confirmed they will work normally from 21 to 25 August.

“We apologise sincerely to our customers for any anxiety or inconvenience caused by this unnecessary strike by a tiny minority of our Portuguese cabin crew. We remain open to working with the SNPVAC union to reach an agreement, and we urge them to return to talks as soon as possible”

In a statement the National Union of Civil Aviation Personnel (SNPVAC) said that the strike notice covers all Ryanair flights with check-in times between 00:00 and 23:59 local times on the days scheduled for the shutdown.

In the meantime, given that there was no agreement between Ryanair and the union, the government has decreed minimum services to be provided during the stoppage, covering not only the Azores and Madeira but also the European cities of Berlin, Cologne, London and Paris.

The minimum services include a daily return flight between Lisbon and Paris; between Lisbon and Berlin; between Porto and Cologne; between Lisbon and London; between Lisbon and Ponta Delgada, as well as a round-trip service between Lisbon and Terceira Island (Lajes), on 21, 23 and 25 August.

“The staff to carry out these services will be designated by the union that declared the strike, up to 24 hours before the beginning of the strike period or, if it does not do so, the employer must make such a designation”, determines the order.

The law justifies the determination of these minimum services, starting with the “relatively long duration of the strike (five days)”, the “season of the year - summer - in which there is a considerable growth in demand for air transport”, and also the fact that it is important “to avoid crowding of passengers in airports during the summer months, since this may increase risks to the safety of people and goods”.

There are significant communities of Portuguese emigrants in England, France and Germany, for whom August is typically the month chosen to visit their families in Portugal.

In a statement, the union said that it “strongly repudiates yet another attempt by the government to annihilate the right to strike and, in particular, that of Ryanair crews,” adding that it “does not accept that the economic interests of a private and foreign company be defended to the detriment of the rights of Portuguese workers”.

According to the SNPVAC’s statement of 1 August, the basis for this notice of strike is the fact that Ryanair continues “not to comply with the rules imposed by Portuguese legislation, particularly with regard to the payment of holiday and Christmas bonuses, the number of holiday days and the integration into the workforce of cabin crew members hired through the Crewlink and Workforce agencies”.


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