Ryanair owes 6 million to the workers of the Canary Islands

Ryanair planes on the runway at Lanzarote's César Manrique airport. / CARRASCO

The airline, which is growing at a good pace in the Canary Islands, is considering recovering its centers on the islands but has not yet paid the workers laid off in January 2020 in an ERE that was declared null

Silvia Fernandez

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The Irish airline Ryanair studies reopening the three bases it had in the Canary Islands (in Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Tenerife Sur) and that it liquidated in January 2020, before the covid, due to the uncertainty regarding the 'brexit' and under the pretext of low profitability and cost overruns.
His return, however, is expected to be complicated because he has not yet paid the more than 200 workers he laid off compensation or processing wages. In total, about 6 million euros.

Now that Ryanair has verified that the impact of 'Brexit' on British tourism has been minimal and that its operations are growing very fast in the Canary Islands after covid, it sees the need to reestablish the foundations to continue growing.
Four million seats are planned for this year on the islands (26% of capacity), which connects with 13 countries and 51 cities. Even without bases, it is the first airline of the islands and its level of connectivity is today higher than in 2019.

The news of the reopening of the bases has surprised the 'former staff', which was dismissed by Ryanair in January 2020 through an ERE, which a year later (on March 5, 2021) the National Court declared null.
They were mainly pilots and cabin crew, although ground personnel were also dispensed with. He has not yet paid all of them their back wages or the compensation that corresponds to them by sentence.

From the trade union
USEwith a strong presence at Ryanair,
considers it a "teasing" that the airline is considering reopening of the bases in the Canary Islands when it has not yet paid its workers what it owes them.

“We have learned through the media of his intentions and what surprises us is that Ryanair says that it is in talks with the Government of the Canary Islands to return. That may mean that he is waiting to get public money to do it, ”USO sources indicate. “We cannot believe that the Canarian Executive is going to give a single euro to the airline when it does not comply with a firm sentence and pay the workers,” they indicate.

In this way,
from USO it is indicated that they are going to request a meeting with the Minister of Tourism of the Government of the Canary IslandsYaiza Castilla, "to put her in the background"
and also with the Employment Counselor, Elena Máñez, «so that it puts the airline red lines». "First you must pay what you owe and demand that you comply with the sentence," these sources indicate.

Sources from the Government of the Canary Islands assure that Ryanair has never received public money. "Neither did he get it in 2006, when he entered the islands joining Fuerteventura and Tenerife North with Girona and Dublin, nor will he be given it now," they point out. However, from USO they point out that they will be vigilant.

In order to get what is owed to the workers paid, the trade unions
On December 15, USO, Sepla and Sitcpla presented a document to the National High Court in which they requested the seizure of the planes from the airline to pay the workers. As USO sources indicate, the situation experienced by Ryanair's dismissed staff since 2020 has been "very tough". "Many have had to leave their homes and return to live with their parents, in addition to requesting loans to continue living," they point out.

As union sources point out, if Ryanair reopens its bases there will be the “paradox” that many of its former Canarian workers will continue to be unemployed because the airline fired them and will bring crew members from other European countries to fill those gaps. "The Government of the Canary Islands should take this into account," these sources indicate.

USO is currently negotiating new salary tables with Ryanair at the same time as it works to carry out the airline's first collective agreement. Ryanair is the only airline where cabin crew do not have a guaranteed base salary. They charge for flight hours and barely reach the minimum interprofessional salary (SMI).

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