Like Valerio Mastandrea in Your Whole Life Ahead of You chased after the call center operators, so union organizer Marco Sala chased after Ryanair’s stewards and hostesses in 2005. “I was working at the ramps at Orio al Serio airport, and after work I passed around the business cards of the European Transport Union, the ETF, inviting workers to organize themselves under the airplanes,” he said.
No one can explain better than Sala, who today is secretary of the Filt-CGIL union in Bergamo, why none of the employees of the Irish airline joined the trade unions and why not even the pilots and employees can come together to claim decent rights and wages — not even now, when the Ryanair scandal is under everyone’s attention.
“The contractual clauses explicitly prohibited employees from joining the trade unions,” he said. “The climate of fear was very strong. As soon as they saw their workers talking with us or if anyone asked for some improvement, they were relocated to the farthest hubs: Romania, Norway.