The union and the airline have presented very different figures for levels of participation, with easyJet saying that 55% and 70% of staff on duty taking part, and the union saying it was 100%.
Cabin crew at easyJet’s Portugal operations on Thursday undertake the fourth day of a strike planned over five days at the end of May and beginning of June, accusing the carrier of imposing “precariousness and discrimination” against employees as compared to those in other countries.
In a statement issued on 11 May, the National Civil Aviation Flight Staff Union (SNPVAC) said thta easyJet continues to consider crew members at Portuguese bases “lesser workers” and perpetuates their “precariousness and discrimination in relation to colleagues from other countries.”
According to the union, “the climate of tension and discontent, and the long impasse in resolving various labour disputes, prompted SNPVAC to present a new strike notice” for 26, 28 and 30 May, and 1 and 3 June.
In the three days of strike action already completed, the union and the airline have presented very different figures for levels of participation, with easyJet saying that 55% and 70% of staff on duty taking part, and the union saying it was 100%.
The strike is to cover “all flights operated by easyJet” as well as the “other services to which the cabin crew are assigned” whose “presentation hours occur in the national territory starting at 00:01 and ending at 24:00 of each of the days” mentioned, according to the strike notice released by the union.
“The proposed changes to the pecuniary benefits already previously presented by the company remain if not worse, far below the threshold of what is acceptable to ensure decent work for cabin crew members,” SNPVAC states, adding that “easyJet remains ‘deaf’ to the economic difficulties experienced by its crew members, due to low incomes, in the face of the recognised increase in the cost of living, which stifles workers and jeopardises the well-being and comfort of their families.”
When the strike was scheduled, easyJet said it was “extremely disappointed” that it had been called, dismissing as “unworkable” the union’s proposal for pay increases of between 63% and 103%, and announced that it would make changes to flights ahead of the strike to mitigate the impact on customers.
In a statement on 19 May, SNPVAC said that “easyJet has previously decided to proceed with massive flight cancellations: of the original 458 flights leaving the Portuguese bases of Lisbon, Porto and Faro, the airline has already previously cancelled 384 flights, or 84% of the planned flights.”
On Tuesday, the union said in a statement that in the first three days of the strike by easyJet cabin crew a total of 224 flights had been cancelled.