The Belgian pilots of the airline Ryanair are on strike throughout this weekend. Nearly 13,000 passengers have had their flights canceled. After agreeing to reduce their salary by 20% during the covid crisis to help the airline, the pilots are demanding to regain their salary now.
Kevin has been a captain for Ryanair for fifteen years. This Saturday, he took part in the new strike action. A first movement of discontent had taken place a month ago. With his fellow pilots, they claim their salary before the coronavirus crisis. “We are not asking for a raise, it’s just recovering what was negotiated in 2019. We made efforts during the covid period to help the company by reducing our salaries by 20%. We estimate that now that the company is going to make billions in profit, we must recover our salaries which were negotiated before the covid“, says Kevin Cam, captain and CNE union representative.
A total of 49 out of 136 flights were canceled at Charleroi airport. At Brussels airport, 20 Ryanair flights out of 60 planned are also impacted. Why aren’t all flights cancelled? Because the canceled flights are those which embark a Belgian crew. The others, which are made up of foreign personnel, are not concerned. Pilots from other countries have signed an agreement with the company. This provides for the pre-crisis salary to be gradually recovered by 2027.
Despite several strikes, there is still no response from management. “We really hope that Ryanair will, already come back, will meet us. What we also hope is that the Belgian state will do its job. His job is to enforce the laws he himself passed. And here it does not happen“, explains Didier Lebbe, permanent secretary of the CNE.
In total, nearly 13,000 passengers are affected by the Ryanair strike at Charleroi and Brussels airports. This Sunday, 23 flights are still canceled from Charleroi and ten from Brussels.