Ryanair workers in Zaragoza, Spain, are currently in dispute. The workers involved are members of the anarcho-syndicalist union, the CNT. The dispute started in March when Ryanair cut the hours of staff by reducing the working day. The strikers are also protesting at Ryanair’s refusal to make staff on temporary contracts permanent.

The dispute deepened when the delegate of the CNT’s union section in Ryanair received a letter of dismissal, for reasons of unsuitability, claiming a drop in the worker’s performance – a claim that is clear nonsense. Ryanair hoped that by sacking the CNT delegate the rest of the strikers would be intimidated back to work.

The move backfired, however, with the sacking only stiffening the strikers’ resolve. The strikers have made it clear there will be no resolution of the dispute until their delegate is reinstated. They have also made it clear that they will reject any attempts to pay compensation as an alternative to the full reinstatement of their sacked comrade.

But the dispute should not just be seen in the context of defending pay and conditions. Since the CNT began organising in Ryanair, management have tried everything possible to discourage staff from joining the union. This should come as no surprise. Ryanair are no lovers of even reformist unions, so it’s no shock that they have resisted the spread of the revolutionary CNT. Should the strikers fail there is little doubt that Ryanair will try to break the CNT as a force within the workplace.

As well as demanding the full reinstatement of the sacked worker the CNT is demanding an end to short term contracts and part time working. In pressing their demands, the strikers have not only received the support of the CNT membership across Spain; the anarcho-syndicalist international, the IWA, has also organised two international days of action in support of the Zaragoza strikers, and further such events are planned.

To get involved with the planned days of action, contact: solfed@solfed.org.uk or your nearest SF local (see p.35).

For further details, in Spanish, see: http://cntryanair.wordpress.com

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