Strike by flight attendants and cleaning staff: summer chaos at Mallorca airport

Strike by flight attendants and cleaning staff: summer chaos at Mallorca airport

Strike by flight attendants and cleaning staff

Summer chaos at Mallorca airport

In the middle of the holiday season, chaos threatens at Mallorca airport. Cabin crew from three low-cost airlines and cleaners have announced strikes. What threatens the popular holiday island.

The dream island could be so beautiful. The long-awaited summer vacation is approaching, holidays in Mallorca are booked. But even getting there by plane could become a problem: the cabin crew of three low-cost airlines have announced strikes – in the middle of the holiday season. There is a risk of summer chaos at Mallorca airport, especially as cleaning staff also stop work.

This Thursday is the first day of strike where Ryanair flight attendants stationed in Spain want to stay on the ground. Five other days of industrial action follow on June 25, 26 and 30 and July 1 and 2.

At Easyjet and Ryanair subsidiary Lauda Europe, there are also strikes for higher wages and better working conditions in Mallorca and other Spanish routes in July. For Easyjet, July 1, 2, 3, 15, 16, 17, 29, 30 and 31 are affected. At Lauda Europe there is a strike on weekends in July, specifically on July 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 30 and 31.

We will see how this affects flight operations when the Ryanair strike begins. Industrial action at the Irish airline not only affects thousands of travelers from Mallorca, but is also likely to disrupt operations with other holiday airports such as Tenerife, Alicante, Valencia, Barcelona and Seville.

The Spanish government has ordered a minimum supply, whereby 50-80% of Ryanair flights must be guaranteed. However, experience has shown that it is not certain that this regulation is respected. Travelers should therefore find out if their flight is taking place.

Not only in Spain, but also in other European countries, many Ryanair employees are angry. They accuse airline boss Michael Kevin O’Leary of failing to follow labor regulations and legal minimum wages. That’s why flight attendants in Portugal, France, Italy and Belgium are on the barricades these days, where there are also walkouts.

Incidentally, from July the cleaning staff at Mallorca airport will also put brooms and cleaning cloths to rest. We know from past cleanup failures what this can mean: Palma airport, which now handles more than 100,000 holidaymakers every day in the summer, could turn into a single dump. The toilets are then usually no longer cleaned.

But it could get worse: Spanish air traffic controllers are also threatening work stoppages. Spanish air traffic controllers complain of overload and lack of staff. Air traffic is back in full swing, in this record summer there are more planes in the air than before the corona pandemic, but the numbers have not increased, but decreased.

The wave of strikes among low-cost airlines has caused mixed reactions among travelers to Spain. “If you travel cheap, you also have underpaid staff – and that needs to change,” writes a holidaymaker from Mallorca on Facebook. Others are annoyed that the walkout falls during the holiday season. “Good salaries are good, but who are the ones who suffer: the holidaymakers”, comments another fan of the island.

The unions meanwhile ask passengers to show understanding and speak of flagrant abuses at Ryanair, Easyjet and Lauda Europe. “Ryanair cabin crew are third class staff,” the USO lamented. “Our rights are not respected. Ryanair is the only international airline in Spain without a collective agreement.

The USO uses Easyjet as an example to show how low wages are. “Currently, Easyjet employees in Spain receive a base salary of 950 euros.” That’s 850 euros less than air hostesses in Germany or France. But in addition, there are variable salary supplements which depend on the number of flight hours.

Travelers whose flight is canceled are entitled to a full refund or alternative transport, the German Consumer Advice Center explains on its website. The extent to which damages or compensation could be demanded depends on the applicable national regulations.

The airline will then not be liable for any damages if it can prove that the cancellation was caused by “extraordinary circumstances”, which could include strikes. However, the lawyers point out that it is legally controversial whether “extraordinary circumstances” can be invoked in the event of a strike by its own staff, since an employer certainly has influence over collective bargaining.

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