Ryanair cabin crew from five countries will hold a coordinated one-day strike on 28 September.
Unions from Spain, Italy, Portugal, the Netherlands and Belgium have confirmed the 24-hour stoppage will go ahead after months of demanding the application of various national labour laws instead of Irish legislation.
“We all want Ryanair’s success, but not at any cost, and certainly not at the expense of the most basic workers’ rights,” the unions have said.
The news was announced at a press conference in Brussels on 13 September.
Yves Lambot, secretary of Belgian union CNE, claimed the strike would be bigger than the two-day walkout by cabin crew in July, which resulted in 600 cancelled flights. German workers may also join the strike, he added.
Ryanair has been scornful of the claim that the proposed strike will cause “chaos”.
Ryanair’s Kenny Jacobs said: “Repeated false claims made by these unions about ‘travel chaos’ have proven to be unfounded. While we regret the limited strike actions that have taken place this summer, in all cases we have judiciously pre-cancelled a small number of our 2,500 daily flights in order to minimise customer disruption and inconvenience.
“We object to these lurid and inaccurate press headlines which wrongly to refer to “travel chaos”, despite the fact that during the seven days of partial strikes by a small minority of our pilots and cabin crew this summer, there has been very little disruption and absolutely no ‘chaos’.”
Of the upcoming strike, he added: “Ryanair will pre-advise customers of a small number of flight cancellations, and the overwhelming majority of Ryanair’s flights and services that day will operate as normal, and we will carry the overwhelming majority of the 400,000 passengers who will be scheduled to fly with us that day.”
The announcement comes one day after German Ryanair pilots held a 24-hour strike, resulting in 150 of the 400 scheduled flights to and from Germany being cancelled.
In a statement, Ryanair labelled the German strike “a surprise” and “unnecessary”.
Both the pilots’ union VC and cabin crew union ver.di are pushing for better pay and working conditions.
Ryanair has just undergone a “summer of discontent”, which saw cabin crew and pilots from various countries stage industrial action. This, coupled with Air Traffic Control strikes across Europe, resulted in 550 flight cancellations in August, up from just 27 cancellations the same month the previous year.