EasyJet’s cabin staff in Portugal went on strike for five days, starting on Friday, with the union threatening further strikes in the future if their demands for raises are not met. This is the third strike this year as the conflict between the staff and management escalates over wage hikes to offset the rising cost of living. Ricardo Penarroias, the head of the SNPVAC union, stated that more strikes could occur in the coming months if negotiations with the company do not progress.
Penarroias mentioned that cabin staff in France, Germany, and Switzerland, who earn between 70% and 100% more than their Portuguese counterparts, only received better wages after going on strike multiple times. EasyJet, the British budget airline, expressed disappointment over the planned strike action and stated that they have proposed an average wage increase of 21% over the next three years, which they consider to be fair. This proposal is in contrast to the 44% demanded by the union. However, Penarroias stated that the company’s offer is clearly insufficient.
To avoid chaos at Portuguese airports, EasyJet preemptively cancelled 346 flights to and from the country out of the 508 originally scheduled during the strike period. According to Portuguese consumer protection laws, cabin staff must ensure the operation of 96 flights over the five days. The fate of the remaining 66 flights remains uncertain. These ongoing strikes by airline crew have been causing disruptions for months.