Holidaymakers face fresh easyJet horror as Spanish cabin crew set to strike
Union USO said on Tuesday that cabin crew based in Spain will walk out on July 1-3, 15-17 and 29-31. Miguel Galan, General Secretary of USO’s easyJet section, said the airline’s flight attendants in Spain are demanding a 40 percent increase in their basic pay.
Mr Galan said the basic salary, which excludes bonuses and extra pay, stands at £816 (€950) for easyJet’s Spanish staff.
He added this is much lower than in countries such as France and Germany.
He added: “The company underestimated the outlook, was more pessimistic and conservative and is not ready for the demand [for air travel]. This generates a domino effect on us.”
Cabin staff at easyJet rival Ryanair also plan to go on strike this month and in July in Spain as well as a number of other countries.
Ryanair has warned flight delays and cancellations will continue throughout the summer as airports suffer staff shortages.
Michael O’Leary, Ryanair’s chief executive, said passengers should brace for a less than satisfactory experience with flight delays due to last across the peak season and some airlines cancelling between five to 10 percent of flights.
He told Sky News this was “deeply regrettable”.
Mr O’Leary said: “This problem is going to continue particularly at airports like Gatwick and Heathrow right throughout the summer.
“It will be worse at weekends and better during the week.”
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Airlines and airport operators are grappling with worker shortages and long queues at terminals after demand soared following the easing of Covid travel restrictions.
Rising prices at the shops and tough working conditions are pushing staff at airlines to protest and walk out.
Mr Galan said the union, which says it represents 80 percent of the 450 staff based in Spain, still hopes an agreement can be reached to avoid the strike.
Willie Walsh, Director General of the International Air Transport Association, said on Tuesday that some airlines may have to adjust their capacity plans to cope with staff shortages, but not all carriers and flight hubs are facing the chaos seen in Europe.
He said: “Let’s relax a little. Yes, we have challenges, but it is not everywhere.”
It comes as thousands of workers walked out on the first day of Britain’s biggest rail strike in 30 years on Tuesday.
Some of the more than 40,000 rail staff due to strike on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday gathered at picket lines from dawn.
London Underground was also mostly closed because of a separate strike.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the strike would harm businesses still recovering from Covid.
Unions have warned the rail strikes could mark the start of a “summer of discontent” with teachers, medics, waste disposal workers and even barristers heading for industrial action as inflation nears 10 percent.
Mick Lynch, Secretary-General of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers union, told Sky News: “The British worker needs a pay rise. They need job security and decent conditions.”