The Spanish trade union USO is raising serious allegations against Ryanair and Lauda, because, according to the employee representatives, they violate Spanish law in the matter of COVID-19 protective measures. USO has now filed a complaint with the Labor Inspectorate.
“We are seriously concerned about the reckless and rash attitude of Ryanair and Lauda in protecting passengers and workers in relation to EASA recommendations and the most elementary laws for the prevention of occupational risks in Spain. This endangers the lives of workers and passengers, as well as economic recovery from possible infections. We have already lodged complaints with the Labor Inspectorate in Spain and hope that the agency will act quickly to avoid the risk resulting from the reckless attitude of the Ryanair group, for which the economic benefit rather than health is the main focus, ”he said USO unionist Ernesto Iglesias.
The Spanish workers' representative body accuses the two airlines of failing to provide the flying personnel with the masks required by law. Spain would - according to the USO - stipulate that airline employees have to wear so-called FFP masks on board, which also serve to protect themselves. The union also criticizes the number of MNS masks made available. Ryanair and Lauda should only provide one mouth and nose protection per employee per day. However, the EASA regulations stipulate that this must be replaced after a maximum of four hours. According to the USO, Ryanair and Lauda should use the same MNS mask for up to 12-hour services.
In the area of on-board sales, the Spanish employee representatives accuse them of being greedy for profit, because both Ryanair and Lauda should - according to the USO - not reduce their on-board sales, contrary to the recommendations of EASA. The European Aviation Authority is currently advising airlines to reduce their in-flight service and sales in order to minimize social contacts. USO is angry that Ryanair and Lauda are playing the sales program as if nothing was happening.
The Spanish union is also bothered by the fact that Ryanair and Lauda do not make it compulsory for their passengers to wear MNS masks. However, EASA expressly recommends this. However, the problem here also lies with the respective legislators. For example Austria only stipulates that the mouth and nose are covered. This means that towels or other items of clothing are also generally allowed. USO demands that Ryanair and Lauda make the wearing of MNS protective masks mandatory on the basis of house rules.
The Spanish employee representatives also take a critical view of the fact that, according to their information, no masks are available on board - not even for sale. This would lead to problems, especially on longer journeys: "If a mask becomes unusable, the airlines cannot provide replacement masks, which poses a risk to other passengers and workers who have to carry out long tasks with hundreds of passengers every day."
The Spanish union has reported to the Spanish Labor Inspectorate, hoping that they will not only act quickly, but also force Lauda and Ryanair to provide FFP masks to staff. The recommendations of the EASA and the Spanish laws should also be complied with.