“Sometimes we get to do shifts up to 13 hours without a minute’s break. So it happens that we have to eat while we are flying between a climb and a landing “. Federico (invented name) is one of the Ryanair flight commanders which today, June 8, joined the national strike called by the Filt Cgil and from Uiltrasporti. A four-hour protest which was joined by “90% of workers” according to the unions. “The main question is that of pace of work and fatigue – tells the pilot to ilfattoquotidiano.it – we get on the plane in the morning and don’t get off until we complete the last flight. They range from a minimum of two to a maximum of six flights a day with shifts that can reach up to 14 hours for five consecutive days “. THE twenty-five minute break between flights “it is difficult to do because you are engaged in other operations” and the company does not provide neither water nor food. So the workers have to make do. “Either we buy it on board at the retail price for the passengers or we bring the water bottle and fill it in the airport restrooms.” Another theme is the contractual issue. “The minimum wages as required by law – he explains Luigi Liguori of the Filt CGIL of Varese – and then there was one reduction of about 30% of salaries during the pandemic and today we are still al 20% less despite the fact that the number of flights has started to grow again ”.
In May, Ryanair celebrated the record of 3000 flights performed in a single day. “In 2019 we had about 70 aircraft in Italy, today there are more than 90 therefore we fly more than before the pandemic – specifies the pilot – but recently the company has brought home a renewal of the contract which for another two years provides for cuts to face the crisis. But for Ryanair there was no crisis ”. According to estimates, the company has a catchment area in Italy of approx 800 pilots. “Not all are hired by the company – explains Federico – there are also self-employed workers with a VAT number who work side by side with those who have a contract”. And then there are approx 2000 flight attendants. Marco (real name) was one of them until 2018 when he chose to leave the company after two and a half years fed up “of being treated only as a number“. Today he works for another company and does not remember his previous experience with pleasure. “Grueling shifts and constant pressure even in on-board sales. We had sales targets, a certain amount of euros for each passenger and if we didn’t reach them, we were penalized “. And so everything was done to sell passengers a lottery ticket, a snack or a perfume. “There were also those who practically landed in the cabin in order to complete the sale”. A circumstance also confirmed by the pilot. “We often see this because before landing we have to wait for the OK from our fellow assistants in the cabin – Federico concludes – but we are often forced to wait because our colleagues are still engaged in sales to reach the target. And so we find ourselves having their ok at the last moment or even we have to take time and cancel the approach maneuver to stall. Obviously it shouldn’t be like that ”.
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