Around 30 Ryanair pilots held a “sit-in” at Charleroi Airport on Friday morning. They were protesting against the management’s attitude and their refusal to enter into social dialog with their staff. Other pilots and cabin staff members joined in that later that evening. It coincided with another day of strikes by the Irish company’s staff.
“We are not asking for a pay-rise, but for the national legislation to be applied in every country Ryanair operates in”, one of the pilots said. “This is a legitimate request”.
For staff based at Charleroi, being subject to Belgian legislation would mean taking into account how long an employee has been with Ryanair and unemployment allocations. “We don’t get that today as we are subject to the Irish social security regime”, another pilot explained. He said that the company opposes this kind of concession and even boasts about the current situation to their investors.
The sit-in marks a change says Yves Lambot, a permanent member of CNE. This is the first time staff in Charleroi have held this type of protest. “What made us decide to do this? I think it’s the planning problems Ryanair created for us in the autumn. We want things to change through real social dialog”, according to another one of the pilots involved.