Ryanair is on strike this weekend in Belgium. It is only the Belgian pilots who disengage. The other pilots – Spanish and French – accepted a financial agreement with the company… But not the Belgians. Exasperated by these repeated strikes, the boss of the low cost company threatens to leave Belgium. But what are the demands of the pilots?
They had agreed to lose 20% of their income during the health crisis in order to save jobs. But while air traffic has resumed, Ryanair pilots have still not recovered their salaries. They had crossed their arms a month ago. They start again this weekend.
The Irish company has nevertheless proposed an agreement: regain their pre-crisis salary gradually over the next 5 years. An agreement approved by the unions of French and Spanish pilots, but refused by the Belgians. “We don’t understand, we don’t understand how they could accept that. It’s not in 2027 that we have to recover the salaries. It’s now that we have to recover the salaries. We fly more than before and we are paid less than before. It makes no sense to wait until 2027. In addition, an agreement with Ryanair, we know very well the value it has. Very often , the agreements with Ryanair are very little respected”points out Didier Lebbe, CNE permanent secretary.
The boss of the low cost company, visibly very annoyed by the reaction of the Belgian pilots, even threatens to leave Belgium. Blackmail – obviously – is not taken seriously by employees. “Charleroi is the third most profitable base of the Ryanair network. Do you think that by having created such a huge market, they will abandon it to a competitor? I don’t believe it for a minute”continues the CNE permanent secretary.
Today, between unions and management, the dialogue is broken.