Strike action by Portuguese air traffic controllers and airport workers planned from today until Saturday has been condemned by Ryanair.
Thousands of passengers face having their flights cancelled or delayed.
Europe’s largest no frills carrier confirmed a number of flight cancellations ahead of the three-day walk out.
Ryanair repeated calls for the European Commission to remove the right to strike from Europe’s air traffic control staff, pointing out that many of Europe’s police forces and army personnel are not allowed to take industrial action.
Air traffic controllers in the US are also prevented by law from striking, and the Commission should apply similar ‘no strike’ rules here to ATC workers in Europe, the airline said.
“It is unacceptable that the skies over Europe are repeatedly closed or flights delayed by the unjustified strike action of tiny numbers of air traffic controllers,” a Ryanair spokesman said.
“These public servants are among the most overpaid and protected in Europe and yet they repeatedly opt for the strike weapon as a first, rather than a last resort.
“The summer schedules in Europe are just weeks’ old and already the Portuguese air traffic controllers will be engaging in three days of strikes.
“The solution to this problem is simple: remove their right to strike in exactly the same way that air traffic controllers in the USA are prevented by law from striking.
“A number of Ryanair flights will be cancelled and any passengers who intended to travel to or from Portugal during the three days of strike action should switch their flights, free of charge.”
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