Ryanair signs deals with Italian cabin crew unions

London (AFP) –


Ryanair has signed deals with cabin crew unions in Italy to provide employment contracts under Italian law, the Irish no-frills airline said Tuesday ahead of a Europe-wide strike over working conditions.

The troubled Dublin-based carrier said in a statement that it has agreed a collective labour agreement with the three main cabin crew unions comprising FIT CISL, ANPAC, and ANPAV.

The deal will take effect from 1 October 2018, it added.

Tuesday's news came after Ryanair had reached a preliminary deal earlier this month.

However, some Italian crews, alongside their Belgian, Dutch, Spanish and Portugese counterparts announced a 24-hour stoppage for September 28 that unions claim will be the biggest strike in the Irish carrier's history.

Italian pilots had earlier approved an agreement over working conditions with Ryanair in the first such deal the aviation giant had fully concluded.

The agreement, reached in August following eight months of talks, gave Italy-based pilots working for Ryanair "protection and guarantees", according to the union which negotiated the collective work contract.

Ryanair pilots across Europe in August staged a coordinated 24-hour strike to push their demands for better pay and conditions, plunging tens of thousands of passengers into transport chaos at the peak of the busy summer season.

In July, strikes by cockpit and cabin crew disrupted 600 flights in Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain, affecting 100,000 travellers.

Ryanair staff have been seeking higher wages and an end to the practice whereby many have been working as independent contractors without the benefits of staff employees.

Another key complaint of workers based in countries other than Ireland is the fact that Ryanair has been employing them under Irish legislation.

Staff claim this creates huge insecurity for them, blocking their access to state benefits in their country.