Monday 17 December 2018

'How many thousands of family holidays are going to be ruined?' - Ryanair passengers urge airline and unions to meet and try to avert strike

A Ryanair jet lands at Dublin Airport (Niall Carson/PA)
A Ryanair jet lands at Dublin Airport (Niall Carson/PA)

Anne-Marie Walsh

RYANAIR passengers have urged the airline and unions to stop bickering about where they might meet for talks and halt a 24-hour strike next Thursday.

In angry tweets, they asked Ryanair and Fórsa to resolve their differences and ensure next week’s stoppage over pilots’ demand  for a ‘seniority’ system for allocating workplace perks does not go ahead.

The messages were sent after the Irish Airline Pilots Association, a branch of Fórsa, urged the company to meet at a “neutral venue”, which it will pay for, rather than its Airside HQ.

The union claimed Ryanair does not want to engage in “meaningful” talks.

But Ryanair said the union had previously met at Airside so there was no good reason why it would not do so again.

“Am I reading right @Ryanair and @forsa_union_ie, ye are both banging yer chests about where to meet?” said one tweet. “How many thousands of family holidays are going to be ruined because of this?

“Please someone stand up and be the bigger, more constructive, group.”

Pilots who are directly employed rather than contracted or agency staff have served notice that they will not work next Thursday and have threatened rolling stoppages.

Ryanair urged Fórsa to enter talks and insisted that the strike is unnecessary.

“Ryanair again calls on Fórsa to call of, or at least postpone, next Thursday’s Irish pilots strike and meet on either Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday next week to negotiate these issues,” it said in a statement.

“Given that Fórsa and cabin crew met with Ryanair in Airside last Friday, June 29, there’s no good reason why Fórsa and pilots won’t meet in Airside to avert this unnecessary strike.”

A Fórsa spokesperson said there had been “no developments since yesterday”.

When asked about its contingency plans, a Ryanair spokesman said he had no comment to make.

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