Why is Ryanair striking and what does it mean for your flight?

All you need to know about why Ryanair is striking and what it means for passengers looking to jet away

Ryanair strikes, why is Ryanair striking?
(Image credit: Getty)

Holidaymakers are looking at further travel disruptions over the summer holidays (opens in new tab) as reports surface of Ryanair staff going on strike, we look what it means for passengers.

First there was the rising fuel prices that prompted drivers to look at ways of saving money on fuel (opens in new tab), then disruptions at airports across the country when EasyJet was forced to cancel its flights (opens in new tab) and now travellers are facing even more delays when it comes to jetting away.

As unions announce some Ryanair staff are striking over the summer as well as easyJet staff (opens in new tab), which could cause some flights to be grounded, we look at why the disputes are happening...

Why is Ryanair striking?

Ryanair's Spanish staff is going on strike for six days over the summer - June 24, 25, 26 and 30 and on July 1 and 2, as they are unhappy about working conditions
and pay, the USO union has confirmed.

Although UK Ryanair staff have not announced a strike, the industrial action could still impact Brits flying to Spanish destinations this summer.

And others are supporting the industrial action. SNPNC (National Association of Navigant Commercial Personnel) tweeted, "Support for our Belgian RYANAIR colleagues on strike #RyanairMustChange #RyanairStrike @CNEGNC @acvpuls."

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Why are Ryanair employees striking?

Ryanair employees are striking due to a row over working conditions and pay. As a result, they will go on strike for six days across June and July. Last week labour organisations including SITCPLA and USO met to admit they have "no other option" but to walk out if a pay rise is not given.

Why is Ryanair striking?

(Image credit: Getty)

What was the Ryanair dispute about?

The Ryanair dispute has come about after workers employed by baggage handler Blue Handling have rejected a 4% pay offer following a 10% pay cut in 2020 during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, according to Unite the union.

The firm employs 750 workers and operates around 200 flights per day. According to reports by Sky News (opens in new tab), Unite said that Ryanair and Blue Handling's parent company ABM are both doing well financially, making it "unbelievable and irresponsible" that Blue Handling is "still refusing to pay decent wages".

Talks between USO and SITCPLA were held last Wednesday but Bloomsberg claims Ryanair representatives walked away from talks and as a result a ballot for strike action was taken.

USO and STCPLA said in a joint statement that Ryanair lacked commitment to dialogue and accused the airline of acting in bad faith. 

But a letter from Ryanair, following the failed talks, claimed that negotiations on a collective agreement made “almost made no progress” due to the unions’ “unrealistic demands and refusal to meaningfully engage."

Why is Ryanair striking?

(Image credit: Getty)

Is Ryanair still in operation?

Ryanair is still in operation - the Irish ultra low-cost air carrier, which was founded in 1984, has its headquarters in Swords, Dublin, Ireland and its primary operational bases are located at Dublin and London Stansted.

The airline told The Mirror last week that it doesn't believe the strike action proposed will. be supported by the Spanish crews.

It reads, “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.

"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.”

As you look up the Ryanair luggage hack (opens in new tab) you might want to check ahead for any disruptions...

Selina is a Senior Entertainment Writer with more than 14 years of experience in newspapers and magazines. She currently looks after all things Entertainment for Goodto.com, Woman&Home, and My Imperfect Life. Before joining Future Publishing, Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism. She is fully NCTJ and NCE qualified and has 100wpm shorthand. When she's not interviewing celebrities you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories.