Ryanair to keep Spain base open but cuts hours, wages: union

le 11/12/2019 , Low cost

Irish airline Ryanair has agreed to keep its base in the northeastern Spanish city of Girona open in exchange for reducing its employees' salaries and working hours, union officials said Tuesday.

In August, the budget carrier said it would close four of its Spanish bases due to "significant overcapacity in the European short-haul market" in a decision affecting bases in Tenerife, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria and Girona.

Although the three Canary Islands bases are still to close as scheduled on January 8, the airline has decided to keep Girona open.

But USOC union official Lidia Arasanz accused the airline of "putting pressure" on staff to accept a bad deal.

"They had a meeting in which they said that to keep the base open, the employees would have to sign... a new contract with the company in which they would only be contracted to work nine months of the year instead of 12," she said.

Contacted by AFP, Ryanair was not immediately available for comment.

The union representative said a new contract would mean employees' annual salaries could be reduced by around 25 percent.

When the period of negotiations ended on December 5, Ryanair posted a message on its internal website, indicating that "enough employees had signed the new contract and that Girona would stay open under the new conditions from January 1", she said.

She did not say how many of the base's 164 staff had signed the new contract.

At the end of July, the Irish carrier said it was planning to axe 900 jobs from its 13,000-strong workforce, sparking several protests by employees in Europe.


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