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Ryanair pilots in Ireland vote in favour of industrial action

Of the directly employed Ryanair pilots based in Ireland, 94% backed striking.

Image: RollingNews.ie

RYANAIR PILOTS IN Ireland are to give notice of industrial action, seeking better pay and working conditions, following a vote. 

Of the directly employed Ryanair pilots based in Ireland, 94% backed striking. 

The ballot by Ialpa, a branch of the Fórsa trade union, started on 23 July. It is required to give one week’s strike notice to Ryanair. 

In a statement this afternoon, Fórsa said it would write to management early next week “to outline plans for action unless the airline agrees to union pay proposals by Monday (12 August)”. 

Assistant general secretary Ian McDonnell said strikes could be avoided if Ryanair management engage in constructive talks. 

“Ryanair’s directly-employed Irish-based pilots are simply seeking pay levels that are common and competitive in the commercial airline sector, from a company that made a more-than-healthy profit of €1 billion last year,” he added. 

In response to the ballot results, Ryanair said it was “disappointed that the pilots union is threatening to disrupt customers’ travel plans during August”.

The airline claimed the ballot did not represent the views of the majority of its Irish pilots and has “no valid mandate”.

Ryanair said it had engaged in a mediation process since 2018 which has delivered “collective agreements on promotions, transfers, seniority and most recently (April 2019), a pay increase of up to 20% for those Irish pilots who had not agreed this 20% increase in 2018″.

It said the union has not indicated what level of pay increase it is seeking “at a time when Ryanair pilots resignations have dwindled to zero”.

The airline described this move as “ill-timed” as it is just ten weeks before a potential hard Brexit and at a time when while Ryanair is in the process of letting excess pilots go. The company announced last week that as many as 900 jobs in the company are at risk, in part due to delays to its expansion plans caused by the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max jetliner.

It said the union should continue with mediation instead of threatening industrial action.

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