Ryanair pilots to give notice of industrial action

Ryanair pilots to give notice of industrial action unless pay, working conditions and related issues are addressed

Directly-employed Ryanair pilots based in Ireland have voted by 94% to back industrial action. Their union, which is required to give at least one week’s strike notice, said it would write to management early next week to outline plans for action unless the airline agrees to union pay proposals by Monday (12th August).

The union submitted a pay claim to the company in late March 2019, seeking pay levels and structures that are in line with sector norms. It says the airline, which posted profits of €1 billion last year, is in a healthy financial position and can fairly reward its pilots.

But Ryanair management has stalled in negotiations on pay and related matters since the Irish Airline Pilots’ Association (Ialpa) submitted its claim. The airline has made no formal counter-proposal.

Fórsa assistant general secretary Ian McDonnell said industrial action could be avoided if management at the airline engaged professionally and constructively in talks. He accused the company of stalling tactics in negotiations, where it had sought costings of the union’s claim and then failed to provide the operational information needed to make the calculations.

“Ryanair’s directly-employed Irish-based pilots are simply seeking pay levels that are common and competitive in the commercial airline sector, from a company that made a more-than-healthy profit of €1 billion last year.

“They feel they have been forced into contemplating potentially-disruptive industrial action by a company that seems either unwilling or unable to negotiate in a professional and constructive manner. At this stage, only a substantive counter-proposal, which properly addresses all areas of our claim, will be enough to prevent us serving notice of industrial action next week,” he said.

Some 180 directly-employed Ryanair pilots based in Ireland, who are members of Ialpa, were eligible to vote in the ballot. Ryanair pilots employed by agencies were not balloted.

Fórsa said it would not be making further comment before next week, so as to give management space to respond to its claim.