Low-cost carrier Ryanair gave in to a union demand to hike cabin crew salaries by up to 25 per cent, paving the way for the creation of a labour agreement that unions say would be the most important one “in the history of Ryanair in Belgium.”
The agreement, which concerns the airline’s Belgian cabin crew members, would see the lowest-paid employees receive a salary boost of 25 per cent, while the most well-off would see their salaries raised by 8 per cent.
“[The agreement] means they will respect the aviation sector’s minimum wages and will put an end to their social dumping practices,” a representative of the Confederation of Christian Trade Unions (CCT) told Belgian media.
“It’s historic because it is the first time that we have reached an agreement on something concrete for the cabin crews: their wallet,” union representative Didier Lebbe told RTBF.
Airline and Belgian union representatives agreed to the measures in principle late on Wednesday, and they must now be voted on by the airline’s employees.
The low-cost airline is under pressure since last year, after its Belgian cabin crew members went on a series of strikes to demand better working conditions.
If the employee vote validates the measures, it will be transformed into a collective labour agreement which the CCT said would be “the most important in the history of Ryanair in Belgium.”
Wednesday’s agreement was celebrated by the unions, who see it as a sign that there’s been a “reversal of the power balance between Ryanair employees and management.”