Ryanair faces largest pilots’ strike in its history
9 August 2018
On Friday, simultaneous strikes against Ryanair will take place in several European countries. While workers’ anger about the conditions of exploitation and the arrogance of the airline has grown, the unions are doing everything to isolate the strike.
So far, pilots’ organisations in Belgium, Ireland, Sweden and Germany have announced strikes. In the Netherlands, Ryanair is trying today to have a strike by 50 pilots outlawed through a court decision. In Germany, pilots are taking part in a European-wide strike for the first time.
The strike is an expression of workers’ tremendous anger about the extremely poor working conditions at the low-cost airline. Across the continent, Ryanair has created new benchmarks for exploitation in the airline industry. Precisely for this reason, workers are seeking ever stronger common international forms of resistance.
The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reports a German worker at Ryanair who was hired a few years ago as a “contract pilot,” on the basis of a fake self-employment contract, who had to hand over an “appraisal fee” of 300 euros when he attended a job interview. “As an employee, you get the impression you are being ripped off by this company from start to finish,” he said. “You have to look after everything and defend yourself. Otherwise you will be constantly bamboozled.”
A German flight attendant told Der Spiegel that right after she was hired, she was asked to pay 3,000 euros for a six-week training course. Ryanair also hires flight attendants without preconditions and language skills, and only requires basic English skills. They then undergo an extremely tough and rapid internal training, which until recently they…