Tuesday 14 August 2018

Ryanair cancels 250 more flights as pilots in Germany to strike - adding to action elsewhere, including Ireland

Ryanair pilots in Germany call 24-hour strike

Ryanair strike Photo: REUTERS
Ryanair strike Photo: REUTERS

RYANAIR has cancelled 250 more flights this Friday after pilots in Germany revealed they are going on strike, along with their colleagues in Ireland, Belgium and Sweden.

This brings the total number of flights that will be grounded on Friday to 396 flights as a result of the 24-hour stoppage.

A union for pilots in the Netherlands will decide tomorrow if it will join the industrial action on Friday.

Vereinigung Cockpit announced at a press conference this morning that its members will strike from 3.01am on Friday and last until 2.59am on Saturday.

In a statement, it claimed that all flights scheduled to depart from German airports during this time will be affected.

The union said all permanent pilots employed at Ryanair stations in Germany will strike.

The German union said an overwhelming 96pc approval for industrial action in a ballot was “a clear vote” for strikes.

“However, since then no improved offer has been received from Dublin,” it said.

“In its letter to VC dated last week, Ryanair management confined itself to repeating and summarising what they considered to be the most relevant negotiating positions instead.”

President of VC, Martin Locher, said the union is demanding improvements in pay and working conditions.

"Improvements are inconceivable without an increase in personnel cockpit costs,” he said.

He said Ryanair categorically ruled out any such increases at talks.

“At the same time, Ryanair has not shown any interest to find solutions,” he claimed. “ It is only Ryanair, which is responsible for the escalation which has now taken place.

“VC regrets the impact on affected passengers, cabin crew and ground crew. Passengers may wish to contact Ryanair directly regarding their scheduled flights as only the company itself can tell which flights are going to operate.”

A Ryanair spokesperson said it has cancelled 250 out of over 2,400 flights scheduled to operate on Friday.

It accused VC of refusing to give seven days notice of the “unjustified” strike so it could minimise disruption for customers.

In a statement, it said affected customers will be notified by 3pm today and can get a refund or booking on an alternative flight.

It said the strike is unnecessary as Ryanair sent VC a revised proposal last Friday on a collective labour agreement and called on the union to meet for talks.

Ryanair’s Kenny Jacobs said it invited VC to meet yesterday but it did not respond to the invitation.

“Our pilots in Germany enjoy excellent working condition,” he said. “They are paid up to €190,000 per annum. and, as well as additional benefits, they received a 20pc  pay increase at the start of this year. Ryanair pilots earn at least 30pc more than Eurowings and 20pc more than Norwegian pilots.”

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