Low-cost budget airline EasyJet has faced many challenges, particularly over the past two years after the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in March 2020. It is now facing new issues among its staff after the cost of living skyrocketed across the world, prompting disputes over the salaries staff are being paid by the airline. Therefore, Spanish EasyJet crews have made the decision to stage a nine-day strike in July 2022.
EasyJet currently has 450 crew members based in Spain, and among those, 80% are a part of union USO. The USO is responsible for running the strike, as they have been in a long-standing dispute with EasyJet but reached a 'deadlock' agreement over pay in February. The dispute arose over the basic pay that Spanish EasyJet crew members are currently receiving. The basic pay grade (which excludes things like overtime, holiday and bonus pay) for a standard EasyJet crew member in Spain currently stands at €950 per month, and this counts as 60% of the crew member's wage packet with the other 40% heavily dependent on the number of flights that crew members are able to undertake between paydays.
According to Miguel Galan, the head of the USO, this pay grade is significantly lower than what EasyJet crew members based in neighboring France and Germany are being paid monthly. He also added that he would expect the airline to give an increase of at least 40% in the basic pay wage, which would help employees support the cost of living.
EasyJet said in a statement that it is 'deeply disappointed' that its Spanish crew members have decided to strike. It added that it thinks that the basic pay it is providing is 'competitive' and 'adequate' to support crew members. It has also warned that there will be severe disruption across its Spanish routes spanning the nine days in July these strikes are taking place. Malaga, Mallorca and Barcelona will be staged across 24 hours between July 1-3, July 15-17 and July 29-31, 2022. These strikes could also worsen air travel conditions across the UK and Europe, as passengers are already queueing outside airports because of reduced staffing in key departments.
EasyJet is now bracing for an increased amount of severe delays and cancellations, which acts as yet another blow to the aviation and travel industries in Europe. It is not known whether EasyJet has provided a new offer of pay as of yet, but the USO states that in taking this action, it can campaign for better support and pay for its members across Spain who are suffering during this mass inflation crisis.
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