New Polish union joins the fight for fair treatment at Ryanair

September 13, 2018

Ryanair cabin crew based in Poland have founded a new trade union to fight for fair pay and working conditions in the growing eastern European market.

Established by both Polish and foreign nationals across Ryanair’s five bases in the country, CWR Cabin Crew Union represents the interests of all the airline’s cabin crew. It becomes the newest affiliate of the Polish union federation NSZZ Solidarność.

The creation of the new union comes at a time when Ryanair is considering relocating some of its operations to eastern Europe. During strike action over the summer, Ryanair managers repeatedly threatened to move aircraft and jobs to Poland to circumvent workers’ demands in other European countries.

This practice of “social dumping” has been widely condemned by ITF, ETF and their affiliates in multiple countries. The creation of CWR Cabin Crew Union will help ensure that Ryanair meets the same demands on pay and working conditions wherever in Europe it locates its bases.

Stephen Cotton, ITF General Secretary, said: “We congratulate the Ryanair cabin crew based in Poland on this major achievement. This is an inspirational example of workers standing together against unfair treatment and organising from the ground up.”

“ITF and ETF stand with transport workers everywhere demanding a fair deal from their employers. We expect the Ryanair management to understand that there are no shortcuts to making its labour issues disappear. The only way forward is to adopt a sustainable, unionised business model that works in the interests of all stakeholders.”

Eduardo Chagas, ETF General Secretary, said: “The establishment of CWR Cabin Crew Union is a major step in the fightback against social dumping in the aviation sector. Ryanair has historically led the race to the bottom on social standards in the sector. Now it is clear that moving to another market will not allow the company to dodge its obligations to its workers.”

“This sends a clear message to all companies guilty of social dumping in the transport sector: workers in different European countries refuse to be pitched against one another. Through our Fair Transport campaign and beyond, we will continue to support workers across Europe to fight against these exploitative practices.”

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