Since the USO union believes that the two low-cost airlines should disregard the recommendations of EASA and the Spanish laws on COVID-19 despite repeated requests, complaints have now been submitted to the ASA, IAA and ACG.
The Spanish trade union USO has now submitted an official complaint to EASA and the aviation authorities of Austria and Ireland against Ryanair and Lauda. The background to this is that the employee representatives accuse the two companies of ignoring the Spanish COVID-19 protection regulations for employees and the recommendations of EASA.
The stumbling block is that the issuing of FFP masks to flight personnel is expressly recommended and, according to the union in Spain, there is even a legal obligation. However, the cabin crew is currently only given one disposable mask (MNS) per day. According to USO, this is far too little, because the services can last up to 12 hours and the MNS masks must be changed at least every four hours.
An internal circular from Lauda cabin crew manager Maria Christina Civiletti shows that the Austrian carrier plans to provide three washable fabric masks per cabin member from July 8, 2020. These are to be flown in from Austria to the base in Palma de Mallorca. However, the Spanish trade union USO does not consider this to be sufficient and refers to the legal situation, which expressly provides for the provision of FFP masks. EASA also recommends that cabin crew wear FFP protection on board, as the minimum distances cannot be maintained at all times. This is to protect the flying personnel from theoretically possible infections with COVID-19.
The USO union is also of the opinion that Ryanair and Lauda have not restricted on-board sales contrary to the recommendations of EASA. Everything would go as it always did, criticize the Spanish workers' representatives and demand that the competent authorities act and prohibit this. There should also be no MNS replacement masks for passengers on many flights, which could lead to problems, especially on longer connections. For such cases, EASA recommends that you keep some ready, but there is no question of “free of charge”. Airlines can certainly charge a fee for exchange masks.
The USO union said that Ryanair and Lauda had been repeatedly made aware of the circumstances and that they were required to comply with Spanish laws and EASA recommendations. However - according to the employee representatives - no satisfactory solution could be found for either company. Therefore a complaint has now been submitted to EASA, IAA and ACG. What the authorities are doing now is still completely unclear. The Austrian State Secretary Magnus Brunner could possibly bring this up at the round table on Thursday.
“We are seriously concerned about the way Ryanair and Lauda are ignoring EASA's recommendations and we have informed aviation authorities on this matter of their knowledge so that they are aware of the current situation and can take the necessary action. We hope that we will not have to regret the health of the cabin crew at Lauda and Ryanair and that the civil aviation authorities will take the necessary measures to ensure compliance with these two regulations, ”said USO trade unionist Ernesto Iglesias.