Irish-based Ryanair pilots to strike on 20th December

Gladys Abbott
December 13, 2017

Directly employed pilots are generally at the rank of captain, so any strike action would likely cause disruption for passengers at the airline's home base.

Update 9.15am: A Ryanair pilot strike in Italy could spark similar action here.

The strike was voted for in a growing dispute over the airline's collective bargaining system, the IMPACT trade union told Reuters on Monday.

Up to 117 pilots in the Irish Airline Pilots' Association (Ialpa) union - part of Ireland's second-biggest trade union, Impact - are expected to take action, which Ryanair said is less than a third of the pilots it employs in Ireland.

But in a strongly worded statement, Ryanair insisted it would "face down" the actions, and said its pilots in its Shannon base have already agreed pay deals worth 20%.

In response to the planned walkout by the pilots, Ryanair officials have warned the employees that by striking, they would be losing favorable rosters and remuneration benefits.

Of the 84 ballots issued in Dublin, 79 voted in favour of industrial action, with three against, one vote spoilt and one not returned.

Numerous airline's pilots have joined unions following the cancellations, but Ryanair said it could legally decline to negotiate with them.

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"This dispute is exclusively about winning independent representation for pilots in the company", she said.

The pilots backed industrial action by a margin of 94% to 6% in secret ballots conducted over the last week.

Dublin-based Ryanair appeared unimpressed at the threats, commenting that it had received no corresponding notification from its German pilots. Pilots across the airline's 87 European bases are campaigning for better conditions.

In a statement, the airline said there would be some disruption as a result of the strike, which it claimed would be confined to only a small group of pilots are working their notice and will shortly leave the airline.

Ryanair said it would deal with any disruptions and expressed "surprise" the union had opted for action during the run-up to Christmas.

Ryanair said its pilots, who are paid "very well", are free to join unions - but added that "like other multinational [carriers], Ryanair is also free - under both Irish and EU law - to decline to engage with [competitor pilot] unions".

"If any such action takes place, Ryanair will deal with it head on, but we will not deal with or recognise the Lufthansa pilots union VC, regardless of what action - if any - takes place".

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