Published on : Wednesday, January 2, 2019
A group of Irish Ryanair pilots would strike along with those in up to four European nations next Friday.
Members of the Irish Airline Pilots’s Association (Ialpa) that is part of trade union Fórsa have decided to hold their fourth strike at Ryanair today in a dispute over base, promotions and leave.
The union represents about 100 of the 350 pilots working for Ryanair in the Republic, and it plans a further stoppage on August 10, the same day that the airline faces pilot strikes in other European nations.
Pilot unions in Sweden and Belgium had already told Ryanair that they aim to call strike on August 10 while the company feels that those in Germany and Holland are likely to follow suit.
Today’s Irish strike forced Ryanair to cancel 20 of 300 flights but the airline says it has re-accommodated or refunded the 3,500 passengers affected.
The air carrier will cancel the same number of flights on August 10th, which it predicted would also hit 3,500 customers, whom it pledged to work to re-accommodate.
Sources warned yesterday that the deadlock between Ryanair and Ialpa-Fórsa could result in the Irish dispute dragging on for several weeks.
Ialpa-Fórsa added that Ryanair’s proposal to cut its Dublin fleet from October with the possible loss or transfer of 300 jobs has hardened members’ resolve.
The pair are also divided over 11 conditions that the union has set out as a basis for suspending strikes.
Ryanair says it will implement nine of them, but Ialpa Fórsa argues that the airline changed the wording before agreeing to its own interpretation of the terms.
Ialpa-Fórsa said it had repeated to the company that it was willing to explore going to a third party to aid in resolving the dispute.
Ryanair also argued that a small group of Aer Lingus pilots were working behind the scenes with unions in Belgium, Germany, Holland and Sweden to disrupt its operations there.
Pilot unions in Holland and Germany have yet to confirm if they will strike on August 10th.
Ryanair has sent proposals on a collective labour agreement to the German union, VC, ahead of an August 6th deadline set by the organisation.