RYANAIR baggage handlers in Spain are threatening to go on strike at up to 16 airports this autumn.
The union CCOO says they will take action sometime after October 9 if there is no agreement with the airline over shifts and part-time work.
The union says it sent details of its demands to Ryanair on September 19 and will wait just 20 days for a response.
The stoppages would affect nearly 4,000 employees of the handling division, ramp services and other ground operations, including boarding, according to Spanish travel media Hosteltur.com.
In December 2018, within the framework of the SIMA (Interconfederal Mediation and Arbitration Service) and endorsed by unions and the company, a round-the-table negotiation group was set up but talks have been paralysed for more than three years. The major delay was mainly caused by the Covid crisis.
Now air traffic is reactivated, the CCOO claims the airline is ignoring the call of the workers to return to the table.
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"Given this silence, the union does not rule out going on strike so that the company understands the need to resume the talks," says the union.
Ryanair says the strike threats relate to their ground handling partner, Azul Handling and "not to Ryanair" and believes there will be no disruption to thousands of flights to Spain.
The union says they want to exercise the constitutional right to collective bargaining.
"We cannot continue to depend on an agreement negotiated by representatives of 'traditional' companies with their own agreement, more concerned with protecting their privileges than with achieving improvements for those who are worse off in the sector," the CCOO says in its letter to employees.
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Another critical point is the limitation of shift changes imposed by the air group. Before there were no restrictions.
The CCOO also claims part-time workers are being "abused" as they have to work much longer hours than their contracts.
If a strike is finally called, the stoppages could begin within a little over a month, since, apart from the 20 days that the company has been given to respond, it would have to meet a series of deadlines for the respective notices.
The union has sent Ryanair a list with 20 proposals.
Hundreds of flights were cancelled last week after French air traffic controllers went on strike.
Ryanair had to cancel 420 flights, while easyJet also had to ground services, with planes unable to fly over France during the strike.
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Flights to Spain, Italy and other nations were among those affected, as well as direct flights in and out of France.
Despite plans to also strike next week, these have now been called off.
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