As during previous strikes, the unions are asking for official recognition by Ryanair and that the Irish airline should use local rather that Irish labour legislation when determining the pay and conditions of its staff that are based outside Ireland.
In some countries (including Belgium) progress has been made in talks between Ryanair management and the unions. However, this appears to have been insufficient to avert a strike.
Hans Elsen of the Christian trade union LBC-NVK told VRT News that “There is a lot of support for the action in Brussels. Of the 11 flights that were initially planned just 2 have taken off”. All the rest have been cancelled for the rest of the day. This contradicts O'Leary’s claims and shows that there is still a big willingness to strike. In Charleroi there are still some flights scheduled so we’ll have to wait and see. However, there the pilots have a big willingness to strike so we should expect further cancellations”, Mr Elsen added.
Contrary to previous strikes, both cabin crew and pilots are striking today. It remains to be seen whether the union’s claim that the strike is the biggest ever will be proved to be true.
Meanwhile Ryanair says that as a result of the strike 250 of the almost 2,400 Ryanair flights scheduled for today have been cancelled. This is still fewer than the 400 flights that were cancelled during a previous international one-day strike on 10 August.