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Dublin: 4 °C Friday 28 February, 2020

Negotiators have less than 48 hours to avert an Irish pilot strike

Unite trade union said CityJet pilots will withdraw labour in less than two days unless there is a breakthrough.

Image: Victoria Jones/PA

TRADE UNION UNITE has said the first of 13 strike days by its CityJet pilots will go ahead if no progress is made at pay talks.

Negotiators have less than 48 hours to come to a deal after 82% of its pilots had earlier voted to escalate their industrial action.

Unite’s regional officer, Willie Quigley, said: “Unite has always stated that we are willing to engage meaningfully with CityJet, and we have now accepted the invitation extended by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).

However, unless tangible progress is made our members will be proceeding with the strike action scheduled to start at 00.01 hours this Thursday.

Last week, CityJet pilots pledged to strike during 13 days in November and December following a row with management over several issues, including pay.

The company said it does not envisage that the strikes will cause any disruptions to flights and it is looking to engage with the WRC to resolve outstanding issues.

‘Pain in my backside’

However, Unite claims the airline has refused to allow the WRC to refer the dispute to the Labour Court.

Speaking to Fora, Cityjet executive chairman Byrne said that the company is willing to thrash out issues, but he claimed that Unite was being unreasonable.

“I have a pain in my backside from Unite, because we have tried to negotiate a new pay deal, new terms and conditions with our pilots,” he said.

Unfortunately, every time we’ve done it, and we’ve been through the machinery, they don’t want to talk about the pay deal.

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