FOLLOWING the strikes and flight disruptions when the Irish low-cost airline Ryanair confirmed that it would lay off 432 people in Spain, the union representative informed yesterday (Tuesday) that the Irish airline has agreed to keep its base in the northeastern Spanish city of Girona open in exchange for reducing its employees’ salaries and working hours.
The airline had initially stated that it were going to close its base in Tenerife Sur, Gran Canaria, Girona and Lanzarote.
To which the Girona base was to be one of the most affected, with 100 redundancies expected.
Now a new contract has been signed by staff in the Girona base allowing operations to continue.
The union representative have said a new contract would mean employees’ annual salaries could be reduced by around 25 percent as staff would be contracted to work nine months of the year instead of 12.
The period of negotiations ended on December 5 where the union had committed itself to do “everything possible to stop this process” or minimise the job losses.” as reported by RFI.
A message posted by Ryanair 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”,
What is not clear is how many of the base’s 164 staff had signed the new contract.
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.
As reported in a previous report by Euro Weekly News, Ryanair is the airline that moves most passengers in Spain, especially in the islands. The closure of the bases does not mean that the airline will not operate flights on these routes.