EasyJet cabin crew to strike again

Date yet to be set – union

Portugal’s National Union of Civil Aviation Flight Personnel (SNPVAC) is to submit a new strike notice covering cabin crew staff at easyJet’s operations in the country, with the date yet to be set, according to an internal trade union statement to which Lusa had access today.

“After the strike that took place on April 1, 2 and 3, where, undoubtedly, crew members demonstrated their dissatisfaction to the company, there was the expectation that easyJet would understand the difficulties experienced by its workers and the social emergency experienced, especially at the Faro base,” reads the statement sent to union members, following Wednesday’s round of negotiations with the company’s management.

The statement stresses that “between the end of the strike and (Wednesday), SNPVAC has given various opportunities for rapprochement between the two sides, which by nature are antagonistic, but should be aimed at the same objective: social peace, dignified working conditions, the growth of the company and its crews.”

However, “unfortunately, this has not been possible (…) easyJet continues to consider crew members at Portuguese bases as minor workers, perpetuating (their) situations of precarity and discrimination in relation to colleagues from other countries.”

More than five months after the start of negotiations for a new Company Agreement, the union accuses easyJet of “manipulation in proposals presented, with only a reallocation of amounts. There is no real will to make progress in these negotiations.”

Given this, although a new meeting has been scheduled for May 3, SNPVAC states that it “has decided to present a new strike notice, with a date to be set.”

In order to “better explain the process and reasons that led to this decision,” the union is to hold meetings with easyJet members at the company’s three bases in Portugal: in Faro on May 2 (at 11 a.m.), in Porto on May 4 (at 4.30 p.m.) and May 5 (at 11 a.m.), and in Lisbon on May 12 (at 11 a.m. and 2.30 p.m.).

“This step is not taken lightly,” says the union. “We have reason on our side and the full conviction that our claim is just. We anticipate a very hot summer, as the company continues to disregard crew members”. (Hot seemingly referring to ‘working atmosphere’ as well as temperatures).

The easyJet cabin crew strikes in April resulted in the cancellation of 220 flights, an SNPVAC official said at the time.

According to that source, the airline had 276 flights scheduled, 52 of which were stipulated as mandatory minimum services.

“Thus, 220 flights were cancelled over the three days, and only four flights were operated,” the union official said. “These four flights were carried out by easyJet managers who have a licence to fly.”

According to SNPVAC, “excluding these four flights, where the flight crew are easyJet managers with a licence to fly, the strike had a 100% adherence.”