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Ryanair cancels 20 flights on 5th planned strike day by Irish pilots

The suggestion comes on the fourth day of 24-hour stoppages by Irish-based Ryanair pilots.

Updated Aug 3rd 2018, 2:03 PM

ryanair 565_90550497 Source: Sam Boal via RollingNews.ie

RYANAIR HAS CONFIRMED the cancellation of 20 flights on the fifth strike day by some of its Irish pilots.

Yesterday Forsa gave notice of the strike day, with will take place from 1am on Friday 10 August for 24 hours.

In a statement this afternoon, the airline said due to the strike “by a small minority (25%) of our Irish pilots”, it has cancelled 20 of its 200 planned flights for that day.

“All 3,500 affected customers have already been notified by email/SMS earlier today and will be readily re-accommodated (or refunded) on other Ryanair flights between IRE-UK routs.”

Earlier today Ryanair said it wanted a mediator for its talks with pilots and suggested Kieran Mulvey – formerly of the Labour Commission and Workplace Relations Commission.

The industrial action is over working conditions and how Ryanair organises transfers of its pilots between bases. There has been much back-and-forth between the airline and trade union Fórsa, with both claiming the other side has refused to meet to resolve the dispute.

“Ryanair now feels the only way to introduce common sense is by way of third party mediation, and to this end is suggesting Mr Kieran Mulvey formerly of the Labour Commission and Workplace Relations Commission.

His background and experience could be a positive influence. We now call on Fórsa to accept Mulvey as a third party mediator, an initiative Fórsa have repeatedly called for in recent weeks.

Fórsa then released a statement, welcoming the development.

“Ryanair’s announcement that it will accept independent third-party assistance in its dispute with pilots, which was made without preconditions, is an unexpected and positive development.

“The union, which has been calling for third-party assistance for many weeks, will consult with its members in the company, and looks forward to talking to Kieran Mulvey about when a process could begin.”

Ryanair pilots strike Source: Sam Boal

This suggestion is a turnaround in statements given this time last week by the airline’s chief marketing officer, Kenny Jacobs, who told Morning Ireland that it wasn’t time for an independent mediator.

He was responding to the suggestion made by Brendan Harbour of Fórsa, which represents around a quarter of 350 Irish-based Ryanair pilots.

“Last Friday we said to the company we were available for talks, we haven’t had a response to that particular point, and [last Wednesday] when Ryanair escalated the dispute by threatening to sack a hundred pilots and 200 cabin crew they also said they weren’t prepared to talk for at least another week. That will have been 20 days since we sat down in a room when we get to the 4 August.

This isn’t going to be resolved unless there are negotiations, we understand that there are difficulties around that, and that third party facilitation might assist both sides. But unless we’re talking, we’re not going to resolve the problem.

“We made the announcement on Wednesday about these job cuts and we also invited them to meet us on Wednesday about these strikes. Come and meet us after the August weekend, in the meantime, go through the proposals that we’ve made and let’s get down to serious negotiations without the interference of an unwanted third party mediator.”

Today is the fourth strike by Ryanair pilots, which impacted on 24 of Ryanair’s flights to or from Ireland. Ryanair has however, re-accommodated or refunded last weekend.

There are also other planned industrial action by pilots in Britain, and other countries in Europe.

- With reporting by Michelle Hennessy.

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