Tuesday 17 July 2018

Ryanair pilots could strike this summer after extending ballot for industrial action until July

Row over who gets first call on workplace perks

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary
Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary

Anne-Marie Walsh Industry Correspondent

Ryanair pilots may strike later this summer after extending a ballot for industrial action in a row over who gets first call on workplace perks.

The pilots want the length of their time in the job to decide who gets first call on entitlements including holidays, as well as promotions and transfers between bases.

The Irish Airline Pilots Association has given its members up to early July to cast their votes in a ballot that was due to close tomorrow.

Sources revealed that a strike could take place later this summer.

The pilots want access to a variety of working conditions to be based on the length of their time in the job.

IALPA has demanded that seniority should determine who gets leave on occasions like school holidays, who gets offered promotional opportunities and who can choose to move to other bases. It claims this is the norm at other airlines.

In an update sent to members, seen by the Irish Independent, the union's Executive Council said a secret ballot was due to close today, with the count shortly afterwards.

However, it said members raised concerns that five days of balloting was not a "reasonable opportunity" to ballot on "such an important matter as industrial action up to and including a strike".

It said its Executive Council has therefore extended the ballot until July 3 to avoid a clash with an upcoming European Cockpit Association conference in Brussels.

"It is self-evident that Ryanair and its on-going disputes with pilots across Europe will be a feature on the agenda of the ECA Conference and IALPA officers will be participating in full with this agenda item," it said.

"IALPA are therefore extending the balloting period until 1200 midday on July 3."

The memo apologised for the anxiety that might be caused to its Ryanair members.

"We know only too well that many of you were anticipating and considering the possible events of tomorrow Tuesday 19 June and the subsequent next steps.

"We ask for your patience and understanding during this stressful time."

The union's demand on seniority comes after Ryanair agreed to recognise unions across Europe following a strike threat before Christmas.

The budget airline has still not finalised an agreement with IALPA, which is a division of Fórsa.

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