The pilots of the British low-cost airline easyJet in Spain want to go on strike in August. The trade union responsible, SEPLA, has called for three three-day strikes starting in mid-August. The pilots want to lay down their work on August 12-14, 19-21 and 27-29. The planned walkout is preceded by six months of negotiations.
The pilot representatives announced today that they wanted to achieve better working conditions. Specifically, the pilots are concerned with restoring the working conditions of the pre-Corona period. They are also calling for new multi-year contracts.
Different employment contracts in Europe
The strike is a last resort, as all attempts by the pilots to reach an agreement have so far failed, the union said. The aim is to restore the working conditions of the pilots from 2019. The company, on the other hand, has presented a new proposal, which, however, further reduces the conditions in real terms.
The union also accuses easyJet of operating bases across Europe and having different employment contracts in each country. The conditions of the Spanish pilots have always been worse than the others and will be further worsened by the company's new offer.
Cabin crew cancel strike in Spain
At the last moment, the British group was able to prevent another walkout. The cabin crew of the airline in Spain has canceled the strike announced for this weekend, the responsible flight attendant union USO announced last night.
The British airline has accommodated cabin crew with a “significant wage increase” totaling 22 percent by 2024. More than 300 of the more than 400 flight attendants who work for easyJet in Spain voted on the agreement and accepted it with almost 75 percent.
Cabin crew based in Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca and Malaga went on strike for more money between July 1st and 3rd and 15th and 17th. Overall, like the pilots, the workers wanted to go on strike for nine days in July.
850 euros less salary than in Germany
According to USO, the basic salary for easyJet flight attendants in Spain is currently 950 euros per month. That is 850 euros less than in Germany or France. "We can hardly pay the rent or the mortgage with the base salary," stressed USO airline employee representative Miguel Galán. Longer working hours are the only way to make ends meet.
As of September 2021, the British easyJet group employed more than 4,000 pilots and over 13,000 flight attendants at all locations.
Ryanair staff in Spain extend strike
Ryanair cabin crew, who have been on strike in Spain for better working conditions since the end of June, announced this week that their strikes would be extended by five months.
The USO and Sitcpla unions announced that there would be a weekly strike from Monday to Thursday between August 8 and January 7, 2023. The Irish airline is not complying with Spanish laws and is also refusing to negotiate, it said.
Numerous airports in Spain are affected by the Ryanair strikes: in addition to Madrid, Barcelona and Mallorca, Málaga, Seville, Alicante, Valencia, Girona, Ibiza and Santiago de Compostela. Due to the maintenance of "minimum services" required by Spanish legislation during strikes, however, only a – often relatively small – part of the flights may be canceled.
Lufthansa pilot strike possible
In Germany, the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots' union votes by Sunday on whether to go on strike in August. Lufthansa pilots could then go on an indefinite strike if an agreement with the group is not reached beforehand.
The conflict between the union and Lufthansa is about the collective bargaining that has been going on for months. The union is demanding 5.5 percent more salary for 2022 and automatic inflation compensation.