Earlybird holiday travel chaos looms (once again)

Easyjet’s May-June strike days mix in with those of SEF border force

EasyJet cabin crew have finalised the dates for the strike union leaders have stressed they are not convening lightly – managing to mix them in with strike dates already announced by SEF border force.

Thus airline passengers booked to fly to Portugal between May 26 and June 3 must brace for the habitual ‘arrivals hall misery’.

This latest spanner-in-the-works for hassle-free travel came in a statement from SNPVAC, the national civil aviation flight staff unions, which claims: “easyJet continues to consider crew members at Portuguese bases as minor workers (perpetuating their) precariousness and discrimination in relation to colleagues from other countries”.

According to the union, “the climate of tension and displeasure and the long impasse in the resolution of various labour disputes” led SNPVAC to present its new strike notice, which takes in the days of May 26, 38 and 30 and June 1 and 3.

SEF’s early morning strike dates fall on May 20-22, May 27-29, June 3-5, June 10-12, June 17-19 and June 24-26.

Thus, when easyJet is ‘not striking’, SEF is.

Making matters even more complicated, the strike covers “all flights operated by easyJet” as well as “other services to which cabin crew members are assigned”, whose “presentation hours occur in national territory starting at 00:01 and ending at 24:00 on each of the days” mentioned. 

In its notice, SNPVAC says easyJet “remains committed to a posture of arrogance and inflexibility (…) Proposed changes to the pecuniary benefits already previously presented by the company remain, if not worse, far below the threshold of what is acceptable to ensure decent work for cabin crew (…) easyJet remains ‘deaf’ to the economic difficulties experienced by its crew members, due to low incomes, in the face of the recognized increase in the cost of living, which stifles workers and jeopardizes the welfare and comfort of their families.”

The union reiterates that “in other countries and bases where the company has a lower level of profitability than in Portugal, colleagues have obtained significant increases”.

SNPVAC “remains available to negotiate seriously with the company in order to meet their demands”. 

This is the second strike convened in as many months. One in early April saw 220 flights cancelled.

Source material: LUSA