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Ryanair told striking cabin crew in Portugal their actions would affect their promotion prospects

The airline has since apparently reversed tack on that approach.

Summer weather July 29th 2018 Source: Danny Lawson

RYANAIR TOLD STRIKING cabin crew in July that their actions could adversely affect their promotion prospects, before pulling back on that declaration in the ensuing days.

Cabin crew at the budget airline in four countries (Italy, Spain, Portugal and Belgium) went on strike on 25 and 26 July in an attempt to amend their working conditions.

Employee rights during a strike vary from country to country. In Ireland, for example, membership of a designated trade union immunises a worker from criminal prosecution assuming the protest is a peaceful one.

In the aftermath of the first day of strikes in Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Belgium, a Ryanair operations manager wrote to relevant staff in Portugal saying those who had taken action had perpetrated an “unauthorised absence”, for which they would not receive basic pay, allowances, sector pay, nor a monthly productivity bonus for the day in question.

They added that all striking crew would be designated as ‘no shows’. Three such no shows on an employee’s record means the person in question must travel to Ryanair head office in Dublin to explain themselves.

‘No shows’

Ryan2 Pre strike memo sent by Ryanair's chief people officer Eddie Wilson stating 'no one can be punished or victimised if they choose to strike and they won't be'

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All no shows “are taken into consideration along with all relevant factors of performance when assessing promotion and transfer opportunities”, according to the letter.

However, yesterday, the company appears to have changed tack.

In a communication to Belgian cabin crew (it’s unclear whether or not that letter applies to all striking staff) Ryanair’s head of inflight operations Andrea Doolan stated:

We wish to clarify that participation in last week’s strike will not in any way affect your current or future transfer or promotion applications.

Ryan1 Letter dated 26 July informing striking cabin crew they would be deemed as 'no shows' which might affect future promotion prospects

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Ryan3 Memo to Belgian cabin crew on 31 July stating that being on strike would not have promotion prospects affected

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“As with any company dealing with industrial relations disputes and strike action, employee attendance is recorded so that pay can be adjusted accordingly,” a spokesperson for the airline told TheJournal.ie.

This letter was sent as a matter of course to inform our crew of same. Participation in a strike does not affect promotion or transfer decisions and this was also confirmed to our crew.


Prior to the late-July strikes, Ryanair’s chief people officer Eddie Wilson wrote to Portuguese staff to say “no one can be punished or victimised if they choose to strike and they won’t be”.

It’s understood that a ‘no show’, as opposed to a pay deduction, is a particularly undesirable sanction for staff to receive, with many workers aggrieved that a day spent on strike was marked down as a failure to report to work.

The airline has, in recent months, begun to recognise cabin crew unions in certain countries (like Italy and the UK), after 32 years of refusing to engage.

The cabin crew strikes in July came as an additional strain for the airline, which has been forced to cancel multiple flights on several occasions due to pilot strikes, another spate of which will be held around Europe both this Friday prior to the bank holiday weekend and one week later on 10 August.

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