Thursday 22 August 2019

Ryanair pilots to strike next week if pay talks fail

Some Irish pilots at Ryanair have backed strike action in a row over pay (PA)
Some Irish pilots at Ryanair have backed strike action in a row over pay (PA)

Anne Marie Walsh and John Mulligan

RYANAIR pilots are set to strike next week if talks tomorrow fail to end a row over pay.

Trade union Fórsa has accepted an invitation to discussions issued by mediator Kieran Mulvey over its claim for improved wages and terms and conditions.

But a spokesperson said a “substantive and meaningful” proposal from management will have to be tabled tomorrow to prevent strike action next week.

It said a mandate by its Irish Airline Pilots Association branch for industrial action remains in place.

Ryanair operates as many as 230 flights a day in and out of Dublin alone that could carry up to 43,000 passengers when full at this time of year.

However, when hit by industrial action last year the airline only grounded a portion of flights as pilots employed by agencies and contracted staff kept services running.

The fresh strike threat means further turbulence for the airline as pilots and cabin crew in other countries have already announced stoppages this month and next.

They include:

  • A five day strike by Portuguese cabin crew from next Wednesday in a dispute over leave.
  • A 48-hour strike by UK-based pilots next Thursday.
  • A three day strike by UK-based pilots from September 2.

The union said it represents 180 of the airline’s directly-employed pilots in Ireland.

Ryanair had insisted that the threat of industrial action “has no mandate from Ryanair pilots” and that it is “ill-timed” with Brexit just weeks away.

“Forsa should continue in mediation and avoid threatening unnecessary disruptions to customers holidays and travel plans,” it said last week.

This afternoon, Fórsa said that IALPA submitted a 30-page proposal to Ryanair management in March, which sought pay levels and structures “that are in line with sector norms”, and which made detailed proposals on pensions, working conditions and related matters.

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