Irish low-cost airline Ryanair claims that it fully complies with Spanish law, including all minimum wage provisions, and is therefore appealing the Labour Inspectorate’s sanction for underpaying cabin crew.
The Labour Inspectorate sanctioned the airline and its recruitment agencies Workforce and Crewlink Ireland for paying crew members below the minimum wage following a complaint filed by the USO union in September 2021 about Ryanair’s hourly pay contracts and no basic wage.
In the same complaint to the Labour Inspectorate, the union also called for the monitoring of hourly contracts for Flight Attendants made through Workforce and Crewlink Ireland.
After analysing the documentation provided, the Labour Inspectorate determined that, as it is not specified whether they are full-time or part-time contracts, they have to be considered full-time and should be paid at the SMI, according to the resolution.
However, the remuneration received by Ryanair cabin crew members is lower than the SMI in force at the time of the complaint made by USO-Sector Aéreo.
As a result, the Labour Inspectorate has initiated disciplinary proceedings for the commission of a serious infringement of labour relations, with fines ranging from 750 to 7,500 euros.
RYANAIR DEFENDS ITSELF
Ryanair, for its part, assures Monday that it complies “fully” with Spanish legislation, including all provisions on minimum wage and explains that it has appealed the “decision” of the Labour Inspectorate, which referred “to a small number of new employees and was based on selective information for a partial month and did not take into account the full income of the crew”.
The airline recalls that it has recently signed a collective agreement with CCOO, the largest and most representative union in Spain, under which improvements have been achieved for Spanish cabin crew and they have all been paid in all cases a wage “well above the Spanish minimum”.
Under the CCOO agreement, Ryanair crew members earn up to 40,000 euros a year and enjoy a fixed schedule (“roster” in slang) of five days on and three days off equivalent to one holiday a week, the airline adds.