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Pilots union seeks High Court order preventing Ryanair from progressing legal action

Ryanair brought proceedings against the union over a planned 48-hour strike last August.

A TRADE UNION that represents Ryanair’s Irish-based pilots is seeking a High Court order preventing the airline from progressing its legal action against them.

Forsa which is the parent union of IALPA wants a stay on Ryanair’s action from going ahead until mediation talks over a dispute on pay and conditions are concluded.

Ryanair brought proceedings against the union and several named pilots including IALPA’s president Evan Cullen over a planned 48-hour strike which had been scheduled to take place on 22 and 23 August last.

The industrial action did not proceed after Ryanair secured an injunction preventing the strike from taking place.

The injunction, which was fully contested by Forsa, remains in place pending the full hearing of the dispute.

As well as granting the injunction last August, Justice Denis McDonald directed that the airline progress the full hearing of its claim, where it seeks damages, against the defendants.

The judge sought an undertaking from Ryanair to progress its action in order to “protect the union’s position” and that it would “not be left in limbo”.

The matter returned before the court last month and was adjourned after Justice McDonald was informed that the sides had returned to mediation.

Today, Marguerite Bolger SC for Forsa secured permission from Justice John Jordan to bring a motion seeking to stay the proceedings, pending the outcome of the mediations between the parties.

Counsel said the application was being made because Ryanair was seeking to have the dispute admitted to the fast-track commercial court list.

Counsel said that application will be opposed by her clients. Counsel also told the court that it is her side’s case that it has a binding agreement that the proceedings are to be adjourned pending the outcome of the mediation.

Permission to bring the motion was granted on an ex parte basis, where only one side was present in court. The judge made the matter returnable to next Thursday’s sitting of the court.

Strike vote

In August, Ryanair brought proceedings after IALPA, which represents approximately 180 Dublin based pilots directly employed by Ryanair voted to go on strike in a dispute over pay and conditions.

As well as the injunction Ryanair also seeks various orders against the defendants including orders for damages.

It claims that from late July it experienced a significant drop in demand for bookings and was required to reduce its prices to stimulate demand and mitigate its losses.

It claims that it lost almost 125,000 bookings that it expected to make in the period of time between mid-July and mid-August for flying date up to 31 March 2020.

It estimates that the proposed strike resulted in lost bookings and impact on fares resulted in financial losses of €13.7 million.

In addition, the airline claims that it suffered further additional damage due to the negative publicity and damage to its business and brand.

Comments are closed as legal proceedings are ongoing. 

Aodhan O Faolain