Ryanair pilots announce pre-Christmas strike

Cheryl Sanders
December 13, 2017

"While some disruption may occur, Ryanair believes this will largely be confined to a small group of pilots who are working their notice and will shortly leave Ryanair, so they don't care how much upset they cause colleagues or customers", the airline said.

Pilots from the Irish Airline Pilots' Association backed the industrial action overwhelmingly during secret ballots.

Ryanair's Dublin-based pilots who are members of IALPA have announced a 24-hour strike on December 20 in a row over union recognition.

It said there will be no strikes between the afternoon of December 23 and December 26. Ryanair crew and pilots in Italy are striking on Friday, and in Portugal, pilots voted to strike.

A majority of the 84 Ireland-based, directly employed pilots - a lot of them captains - voted to strike five days before Christmas in a move that will lead to flight cancellations and cost the airline a "substantial" amount of money, The Irish Times reports.

In a statement, Ryanair said it had received no notification of any industrial action by its German pilots, adding that it "suspect this is more PR activity by the Lufthansa pilots group VC".

Ryanair has told their pilots that if they take action they will be in breach of their agreements, which means they will lose benefits such as guarantees over rosters and pay, as well as promotion opportunities.

The budget airline went on to describe VC as a "Lufthansa pilots' trade union", hinting at the involvement of its major commercial rival in the German aviation market in the dispute.

"The failed policy threatens to further disappoint shareholders and passengers, and further damage the airline's reputation, because experienced pilots continue to leave the airline in droves".

The pilots want to use their new collective European Employee Representative Council in negotiations, rather than the Employee Representative Councils at each of Ryanair's 87 bases.

"Ryanair is surprised that IALPA has threatened to disrupt Christmas week travel when IALPA's own numbers confirm it has the support of less than 28 per cent of Ryanair's over 300 Dublin pilots and when Ryanair's Belfast, Cork and Shannon bases have already agreed these 20 per cent pay deals".

Ryanair said they will deal with any disruptions "if, or when they arise", and have apologised to customers in advance of any delays.

The I.A.L.P.A.is a registered trade union and is a branch of the trade union IMPACT and affiliated to I.F.A.L.P.A., the International Federation of Airline Pilots Associations.

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