Earlier this week I wrote about the collapse of Ryanair as strikes continued to plague the budget carrier. The problem is only getting worse.
Strikes have already occurred in Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, and Spain. That led to the cancellation of over 600 flights last month. Progress has still not been made toward labor reconciliation and workers in these nations are threatening another round of strikes.
But wait. There’s more.
Now pilots in Germany, Holland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom are also planning strikes.
Let’s start with this: if you travel plans this month involve Ryanair, keep a very close watch on this blog or other new outlets. If a massive and unified strike occurs, the result could be not just days, but weeks of delayed and cancelled flights. If you don’t start planning now, you might find your summer holiday ruined with no options to make alternate arrangements.
Now let’s return to the new strikes.
German pilots voted overwhelming (96%) to authorize a strike, with Ryanair given a 06 August deadline to make a meaningful counteroffer to pilots. Absent that good-faith step, pilots can authorize a strike with only 24 hours notice.
Following their German counterparts, pilots in the Netherlands have voted to authorize a strike. Dutch union rules only require 12 hours of notice before a strike commences.
Yesterday, the Swedish Air Line Pilots’ Association notified Rynair it would strike on August 10th. In solidarity, Belgian pilots will join their Swedish colleagues in striking on that date.
Yesterday, UK pilots “triggered a so-called failure-to-agree mechanism” which means that contracts talks have stalled. This vote opens the door for a strike.
More Threats from O’Leary to Offshore Jobs to Poland
In a startling show of tone deafness, Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary has answered this labor unrest by threatening to fire workers and move more jobs to Poland. Perhaps O’Leary thinks he will have his great Reagan-firing-the-air-traffic-controllers-moment, but the labor dynamics in Europe in 2018 are quite different than in the USA in 1981.
Will August 10th Be Ryanair’s Waterloo Moment?
Imagine this scenario on August 10th. Pilots strike from nine countries:
- The Netherlands
- United Kingdom
August 10th is a Friday, the day many leave for their holidays or even just for a weekend break. Can you imagine the damage? Ryanair’s Polish division cannot handle everything…
If Ryanair caves into worker demands, the higher labor costs will be passed directly to consumers. The question then becomes whether Ryanair is actually underpaying its pilots and flight attendants now or whether the labor unions are simply trying to kick the airline while it is down. In any case, it appears labor unrest and the summer of discontent will only continue for Ryanair.
> Read More: The Sudden Collapse Of Ryanair
image: Ryanair Instagram
Now, I’m no labour or wage expert, but why not just pay your employees a respectable wage, and charge an extra couple of € for the flight’s? Maybe I’m being insensitive here, but that couple of € probably won’t effect most people very much.
We have flights early September from Rome to London and London to Dublin. Wonder if this will be over by then? There are 4 of us traveling, so we have spent several hundred dollars on these flights.
Too early to tell. Hopefully the issue will be resolved by then.
It was going on last year when we had flights with them but our flight was not cancelled. I guess I had better keep an eye on it.
Not surprised. Customers need to understand that flying is an inherently expensive endeavour. Our fascination with low rates (fares) has blinded us to this fact. I’m more centrist than anything, yet, I feel that Ryanair deserves this action. They should pay market rates.
All businesses today are only concerned with shareholder value. They need to start thinking about stakeholder value.
My family and I recently traveled to Greece from Germany. We were left without a plane for over 4 hours. When requested a refund for pur tickets. Per customer service at the airport, the responses we got were 1- we decided to fly after all and 2- there was a strike that was not the control of the airline so therefore not entitled to a refund. We go someplace ever year but I’ll never fly Ryan air again. Between the rudeness of the employees to the delayed flight and extra charges I’ll opt for a different airline.