Ryanair cabin crew in Germany back labour deal

German cabin crew have approved a proposed labour agreement hashed out with Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair, the Verdi union said, ending months of deadlock and strike threats over better pay and conditions.

Ryanair cabin crew in Germany back labour deal
A Ryanair plane at an airport in West Rhine-Westphalia. Photo: DPA

The influential Verdi union said members voted “by a large majority” on Tuesday to back a deal struck with Ryanair management last week that will raise crews' basic salary by €600 a month, alongside other pay increases and guaranteed working hours.

The deal, which still needs to be finalized by the end of the month, also switches German staff from Irish to local labour contracts, addressing a key gripe among Ryanair staff across Europe.

Verdi board member Christine Behle hailed the outcome as “a great success” and praised Ryanair cabin crew for “fighting for their rights”.

But she condemned Ryanair's refusal to accept a so-called works council, a body within a company that represents workers and an important feature in Germany's corporate world.

The labour agreement does not apply to Ryanair pilots, who are being represented by German cockpit union VC.

The hard-fought deal comes after German cabin crew joined a pan European walkout in September they say forced Ryanair to cancel more than 190 flights. 

SEE ALSO: Almost 40 percent of Ryanair flights in Germany cancelled

A 24-hour strike by German cabin and cockpit crew earlier that month also forced the cancellation of 150 Ryanair flights.

Ryanair only began recognizing unions for the first time in its 30-year history last December, to avert mass strikes during the busy Christmas period.

It has since been hit with a wave of industrial action that has dented profits.

The budget carrier has so far managed to clinch labour agreements with staff in several countries including Britain, Portugal and Italy.

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French customs officers strike over job cuts

Customs officers across France will walk out on Thursday in protest at job cuts that unions say will “weaken the customs network”.

French customs officers strike over job cuts

The national strike on Thursday, March 10th is expected to lead to delays at ports, airports and on the Eurostar.

The strike, which will include a rally outside the National Assembly building in Paris, was called by the CFDT-Douane and has the support of other unions. 

A work-to-rule protest over pay and conditions by customs officers in 2019, under the shadow of Brexit, led to delays and disruption at airports, as well as ports including Calais and Dunkirk, and on Eurostar trains.

Unions are calling on the government to axe plans to switch responsibility for import duty collection to the Direction Générale des Finances Publiques by 2024, at the cost of 700 customs’ officer jobs – and, according to strikers, tens of billions of euros to State coffers.

“We are asking for the reforms to be stopped, mainly that of the transfer of taxation, which is disorganising the network with the elimination of nearly a thousand jobs,” CFDT-Douane’s secretary general David-Olivier Caron said.

The planned job cuts come after years of restructuring and streamlining that has seen thousands of positions disappear, the unions say, when customs fraud and smuggling is rising because of a lack of resources.