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File photo of a Ryanair flight landing at the Brussels Airport in Zaventem, Belgium. Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

Ryanair strike in Belgium grounds dozens of flights

The action set to halt 30 percent of the airlines’ flights through its Belgium hub.

BELGIAN-BASED RYANAIR cabin crews have today launched a three-day strike over the New Year holiday, grounding dozens of flights and hitting thousands of passengers.

The industrial action comes as the cost of living crisis spurs growing labour strife across Europe that has disrupted the festive period.

Charleroi airport CEO Philippe Verdonck told AFP 48 outgoing and incoming Ryanair flights had been cancelled today, with the action set to halt 30 percent of the airlines’ flights through its Belgium hub.

Overall some 22,000 passengers were expected to be affected over the three days, he said.

The low-cost carrier has 15 planes in Belgium and the strike was not due to impact its aircraft based in other countries.

Ryanair employees in Belgium have already gone on strike several times this year to demand that the country’s labour laws be fully applied, grounding aircraft.

The unions notably accused Ryanair of illegally pressuring staff in Belgium to work from time to time in other sites across Europe, particularly in its home base Dublin, where the airline suffers employee shortages.

They also allege Ryanair, Europe’s biggest airline in terms of passengers transported, is not properly declaring salaries to Belgian social security authorities and sometimes paying wages under the national legal minimum.

The unions are also planning to strike over the weekend of 7 and 8 January at the end of Belgium’s traditional winter break.

© AFP 2022 

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