Travellers wait in front of a Ryanair jet in southern Belgium. Picture: REUTERS
Travellers wait in front of a Ryanair jet in southern Belgium. Picture: REUTERS

London — Ryanair has signed deals with cabin crew unions in Italy to provide employment contracts under Italian law, the Irish no-frills airline said on Tuesday ahead of a Europe-wide strike over working conditions.

The troubled Dublin-based carrier said in a statement that it has agreed on a collective labour agreement with the three main cabin crew unions: FIT CISL, ANPAC and ANPAV.

The deal will take effect on October 1, it added.

Tuesday’s news came after Ryanair reached a preliminary deal earlier this month.

However, some Italian crews, alongside their Belgian, Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese counterparts, announced a 24-hour stoppage for Friday that unions claim will be the biggest strike in the carrier’s history.

Italian pilots had earlier approved an agreement over working conditions with Ryanair in the first such deal the aviation giant had fully concluded.

The agreement, reached in August after eight months of talks, gave Italy-based pilots working for Ryanair "protection and guarantees".

Ryanair staff have been seeking higher wages and an end to the practice of independent contracting without the benefits of staff employees. Another key complaint is the fact that Ryanair has been employing non-Irish workers under Irish legislation. Staff claim this blocks access to state benefits in their country.

AFP