Written Answer to a Question: Ryanair threatening the right to strike

Answer given by Ms Thyssen on behalf of the Commission to a question (Rule 130) by Massimo Paolucci (S&D) on “Ryanair threatening the right to strike”.

Answer given by Ms Thyssen on behalf of the Commission

The right to strike is enshrined in Article 28 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and Article 6 of the European Social Charter. It is also protected by Article 11 of the European Convention of Human Rights on freedom of assembly and association and by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) core labour standard convention 87 on freedom of association, ratified by all EU Member States.

EU Member States commitments under the Council of Europe obligations have to respect the European Convention of Human Rights and the European Social Charter ratified by all EU Member States.

There is no Union law specifically governing the conditions of the exercise of the right of association or collective bargaining. As per Article 153(5) Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), the provisions of that Article relating to social policy shall not apply to the right to strike. It is primarily the national authorities, including the national courts, who are responsible for laying down and enforcing the right to collective action.

In its Aviation Strategy(1), the Commission pays particular attention to the social dimension of air transport. It is notably carrying out a fact-finding study on aircrews’ employment and working conditions. Finally, social dialogue plays an important role and has the full support of the Commission.

Question for written answer P-007735-17 
to the Commission 

Rule 130
Massimo Paolucci (S&D)

Subject:  Ryanair threatening the right to strike

The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, also known as the Charter of Nice, recognises, in its comprehensive list of protected rights, the right to collective bargaining and to strike action, as a way of defending interests in cases of conflicts.
According to Article 28 of the Charter, which was officially recognised under the Treaties with the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty in 2009, ‘workers and employers, or their respective organisations, have, in accordance with Union law and national laws and practices, the right to negotiate and conclude collective agreements at the appropriate levels and, in cases of conflicts of interest, to take collective action to defend their interests, including strike action’.
Two days ago it was reported that Ryanair had written to cabin crew in Italy, as well as in other Member States, threatening to cut their pay rises and promotions if they decided to strike alongside Alitalia Anpac pilots in a strike announced for 15 December.
This is a very serious attack on the rights enshrined in the Italian Constitution and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. How does the Commission intend to protect this right and ensure that Ryanair does not carry out its threats?

Source: European Commission

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