Saturday 20 October 2018

Ryanair pilots announce they will hold another strike

Ryanair (Peter Byrne/PA)
Ryanair (Peter Byrne/PA)
Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

IRISH-based Ryanair pilots have announced they will hold another strike on August 10.

It comes amid little progress in talks between unions and the company. The new date comes after pilots have already announced a strike to take place tomorrow.

Friday week will be the fifth one-day stoppage by directly-employed Irish-based Ryanair pilots since July 12.

Its pilots from other countries including Belgium and Sweden have already announced a strike for that day.  

“For over a month, the union has said that industrial action is likely to continue until there is substantial movement on the pilots’ reasonable demands for an agreement on a fair and transparent approach to base transfers and related matters,” a statement from the union Fórsa said.

“In the 19 days since the first one-day strike took place, company management has agreed to just two hours of talks, despite Fórsa’s repeated assurance that it is available for discussions at any time.”

Ryanair called the latest strike notice "irresponsible and unwarranted", as they have said that the airline's offer to meet with FORSA representatives next Tuesday is "pointless".

Ryanair's Chief Marketing Officer Kenny Jacobs said in a statement this evening: "This fifth strike notice by FORSA is irresponsible, unwarranted and is disrupting customers and (a way of damaging) Ryanair’s business.

"FORSA has called for meetings with Ryanair, yet during each of the last two weeks when Ryanair has invited FORSA to meet, FORSA has rejected these invitations and instead called a fourth strike tomorrow, and now a fifth strike by just 25 per cent of Irish pilots."

Forsa has previously denied that Aer Lingus captain Evan Cullen has attended the talks that have taken place between union negotiators and management.

Mr Jacobs continued to say: "In most unions where four strikes have failed to have any effect, the unions and employer would be entering into negotiations to resolve the dispute.

"In this case, after four days of unsuccessful strikes, a handful of Aer Lingus pilots are working behind the scenes with pilot unions in Sweden, Holland, Belgium, and Germany to further disrupt Ryanair’s business and Ryanair’s customers next Friday August 10."

Mr Jacobs said that 3,500 Irish passengers will be affected due to 20 further flight cancellation on August 10.

"We apologise sincerely to the 3,500 Irish customers whose flights next Friday August 10 will be disrupted simply because FORSA won’t accept our offers to meet us to resolve this dispute, even though we have agreed 9 of FORSA’s 11 requirements, and why when we have met them, they can’t/won’t negotiate without deferring to Aer Lingus pilots who are outside the room.

 "FORSA must remove Aer Lingus pilots from this process since they are intent on damaging Ryanair’s business for the benefit of Aer Lingus,” he added.

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