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Ryanair signs deals with Italian cabin crew unions

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.

Ryanair signs deals with Italian cabin crew unions
Photo: microlite/Depositphotos

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.

READ ALSO: Ryanair cancels more than 100 flights in Italy as cabin crew strike

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.

READ ALSO: Ryanair reaches historic agreement with Italian pilot union

PROTESTS

Strikes in Italy cause public transport misery and flight cancellations

Some 127 Alitalia flights have been cancelled on Monday and public transport has been disrupted across the country amid a 24-hour general strike, Italian media reports.

Arrival and departure boards show delayed and cancelled trains at Rome Termini station on October 11th during a general strike.
Arrival and departure boards show delayed and cancelled trains at Rome Termini station on October 11th during a general strike. Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP

Italian national carrier Alitalia confirmed in a statement that 127 national and international flights had been cancelled on Monday, with a further 11 cancellations on Tuesday due to the strike action.

Alitalia said it would be switching to bigger aircraft and rebooking flights, and advised passengers who were affected “to check on which flight they have been rebooked by logging in to the website www.alitalia.com and entering their name, surname and booking code in the ‘my flights’ section on the home page.”

READ ALSO: What are my rights in Italy if a flight is cancelled or delayed?

There were no reports of flight cancellations by other airlines, though there may be some delays or disruption on the ground at Italian airports with some staff on strike.

Meanwhile the city centres of Milan and Rome were jammed with traffic as many people opted to use cars amid fears of local public transport disruption.

Milan’s metro is operating on a normal schedule, stated city transport company ATM: “The service is continuing on all underground lines. Traffic could slow down the circulation of surface lines.” 

Rome’s metro system is operating “in fits and starts” on Monday, news agency Ansa reports, with line C closed and lines A and B operating on reduced service.

Trams and other forms of public transport in Milan may face delays due to heavy traffic, the city transport company warns. Photo: Marco Bertorello/AFP

Some roads and central squares in Rome are also closed to traffic on Monday because of demonstrations, including Piazza della Repubblica and Piazza Madonna di Loret.

Thousands of people are expected to march in Rome, where a heavy police presence was reported following violence on Saturday after a demonstration against vaccines and the green pass system.

Roads have also been blocked due to marches in other cities including Naples and Genova on Monday morning.

Alitalia workers in Rome hold a banner reading “All aboard. No to the ITA plan”. Photo: Tiziana FABI/AFP

The 24-hour general strike, for both public and private sector workers, was called by several of Italy’s national and regional trade unions to protest government labour and economic policies, including those on working hours and pensions, as well as calling for more investment in schools and transport.

Alitalia staff also took to the streets to protest the planned closure of the airline, which is set to end operations on Thursday and be replaced by new national carrier ITA from Friday.

The unions have stated in recent days that this is not a demonstration against the green pass, and sought to distance themselves from the violent protests seen in Rome and Milan this weekend, Ansa reports.

IN PICTURES: Demonstrators and far right clash with police in Rome after green pass protest

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