Ryanair pilots to strike for 48 hours on 22nd and 23rd August

Directly-employed Ryanair pilots based in Ireland are to take strike action for 48 hours from 00.01am on Thursday 22nd August. Their union served strike notice on the company this evening (Wednesday), and said Ryanair pilots would notify the company of further strike days in due course.

The move comes after 94% of directly-employed Ryanair pilots, who are members of the Irish Airline Pilots’ Association (IALPA), voted to back industrial action in a long-running dispute over pay, working conditions and related issues.

The union said that the Irish Airline Pilots’ Association (IALPA) had submitted a 30-page proposal to Ryanair management in March of this year, which sought pay levels and structures it says are in line with sector norms. The IALPA claim also included proposals on pensions, working conditions and related matters.

Yesterday (Tuesday) the union accepted an invitation from mediator Kieran Mulvey to attend talks this afternoon. It said that only a substantive counter-proposal from Ryanair management, which properly addressed all areas of the IALPA claim, was required to convince pilots’ representatives not to take strike action next week. No such counter-proposal was made at the mediation meeting today.

Denying management claims that the company had not received specific proposals, the union said Ryanair had received detailed proposals almost four months ago. But the airline made no significant response, even in the face of a costly and potentially disruptive stoppage.

Fórsa national secretary Angela Kirk said Ryanair pilots told her they’d been forced into industrial action by the company’s failure to offer any significant response to their proposals over a four-month period. She said she regretted any disruption that might flow from management’s unwillingness or inability to negotiate a fair and transparent pay package, even at this late hour.

IALPA is seeking pay levels it believes are common and competitive in the commercial airline sector, from a company that made a substantial profit of €1 billion last year. They tell me they feel forced into serving notice of potentially-disruptive industrial action by a company that seems either unwilling or unable to negotiate in a professional, transparent and constructive manner,” she said.

Some 180 directly-employed Ryanair pilots based in Ireland, who are members of IALPA, were eligible to vote in the strike ballot, the results of which were announced last Friday (9th August). Ryanair pilots who are employed by agencies, or have so-called ‘self-employed’ status, cannot be balloted under Irish employment law.