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Ryanair passengers flying to Spain face threat of end-of-term strike

But airline says it does not expect widespread disruptions

Unions representing some of Ryanair's Spanish cabin staff have said they’ll strike on six days in late June and early July. The news means potential disruption for tourists to Spain in what is traditionally one of the busiest times of the year as schools break for summer and the risk of knock on pressure on Europe’s already strained aviation sector.

However, the airline’s management said a bigger Spanish union has agreed a pay deal and that it does do not expect wide spread disruptions this summer.

Officials from the USO and SITCPLA trade unions said their members intend to walk out on June 24, 25, 26 and 30 and on July 1 and 2, as a pay dispute escalates.

"We have to resume mobilisation so that the reality of our situation is known and Ryanair is forced to abide by basic labour laws," said Lidia Arasanz, the general secretary of USO's Ryanair section, in a statement.

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Unions estimate that Ryanair has around 1,400 crew based in Spain. A strike, if it happens, will heap pressure on the travel industry struggling to get back into full flow following two years of lockdowns and add to uncertainty for travellers. The airline’s shares fell on Monday, following the news.

Ryanair said it has an agreement in place with the biggest Spanish union representing staff there.

“Ryanair has negotiated collective agreements covering 90pc of our people across Europe. In recent months we have been negotiating improvements to those agreements as we work through the Covid recovery phase.

"Those negotiations are going well and we do not expect widespread disruption this summer,” a spokesman said.

“In Spain, we are pleased to have reached a collective agreement with CCOO, Spain’s largest and most representative union, delivering improvements for Spanish-based cabin crew and reinforcing Ryanair’s commitment to the welfare of its cabin crew.

"Recent announcements by the much smaller USO and SITCPLA unions are a distraction from their own failures to deliver agreements after three years of negotiations and we believe that their strike calls will not be supported by our Spanish crews.”

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