EasyJet cabin staff in Portugal plan early April strike over pay

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LISBON, March 17 (Reuters) – EasyJet Plc EZJ.L cabin staff in Portugal will go on a three-day strike in early April to demand higher wages to compensate for the soaring cost of living, the SNPVAC union of civil aviation flight personnel said on Friday. 

Workers at the British low-cost airline, who also seek better working conditions, are planning to walk out between April 1-3.

“Due to the economic climate, easyJet workers have lost purchasing power over the last three years,” SNPVAC said in a statement. “The increase in the cost of living suffocates workers and jeopardises the well-being and comfort of their families.”

It also pointed out that easyJet’s Portuguese bases and routes are among the most profitable, and that in other countries where profitability is lower, employees had had “significant increases”. 

The union did not specify the size of the increases it was seeking. 

The airline, which expects some disruption to their flying programme to and from Lisbon, Porto and Faro during the strike, said it takes its responsibilities as an employer seriously and employs all crew under local contracts, agreed with trade unions.

“It is not possible to compare terms and conditions across different jurisdictions.”

“We are disappointed with this action, especially given the significant investment we have made in the country in recent years which has created hundreds of new jobs in Portugal and hope that SNPVAC will resume a constructive dialogue with us,” the company said.

Portuguese inflation slowed to 8.2% year-on-year in February from the previous month’s 8.4%, but core inflation accelerated, stoked by prices of unprocessed food products.

Currently, in Portugal, easyJet bases 19 aircraft and has more than 750 employees.

(Reporting by Patricia Vicente Rua; Editing by Andrei Khalip, Jan Harvey and David Gregorio)

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