Irish Ryanair pilots to strike for two days this month
Disruption is likely.
Directly-employed Ryanair pilots based in Ireland are to take strike action for 48 hours from 12am on Thursday, 22 August.
Their union served strike notice on the airline on Wednesday evening, 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 dispute over pay, working conditions and related issues.
Fórsa accepted an invitation from mediator Kieran Mulvey to attend talks with Ryanair management on Tuesday afternoon.
However, Ryanair pilots and their union Fórsa on Wednesday evening withdrew from the mediation talks when no progress was made on pay proposals.
IALPA said Ryanair had received detailed proposals almost four months ago, despite the airline stating it had not received them. But they said 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.
"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.
Speaking this evening, Ryanair’s Chief People Officer Eddie Wilson said he regretted that customers will be affected by what he called "grossly unreasonable demands" from their workers.
“We have done everything in our power to avoid disruption to our flights and our customers’ holidays," he said.
"However, no company can concede to grossly unreasonable demands from its highest paid workers for a further pay increase of over 100% (when they already agreed and received a 20% pay increase earlier this year) at a time when the airline industry is in crisis.
"Ryanair pilots who are already among the best paid workers in Ireland are now threatening to disrupt the holiday travel plans of thousands of customers over the coming weeks as they demand that their pay be increased from €172,000 p.a. to over €347,000 p.a. that would see them earn more than the President of Ireland or our Taoiseach, even as Norwegian makes all of its Dublin pilots redundant.
"We remain willing to engage in Mediation with our pilots and Fórsa but call on them to avoid disrupting our customers’ travel plans in pursuit of what are clearly unrealistic and unimplementable pay proposals.”