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Dublin: 9 °C Wednesday 12 December, 2018
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Strike action at Ryanair kicks off again today causing travel chaos across Europe

This is the fifth day Irish pilots will be striking.

Image: RollingNews.ie

RYANAIR PILOTS WILL today carry out another day of strike action as the row between them and management deepens.

Irish pilots, along with their Ryanair colleagues in Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Belgium, will not be performing their duties, meaning that over 1,000 flights will not take place across Europe.

The airline expects that around 55,000 people will be affected by the industrial action.

The action in Ireland 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 Irish trade union Fórsa, with both claiming the other side has refused to meet to resolve the dispute.

More rolling strikes are expected by the union.

All customers affected by the cancellations have already been notified by email or text message. Many have been offered new flights.

Ireland has one of the smaller hubs of pilots across Europe.

Ryanair said before the announcement of the Dutch strike it would have to axe around 400 out of 2,400 European flights scheduled for Friday.

Germany will be worst hit with 250 flight cancellations. Friday is the fifth strike day by Irish pilots.

Affected customers are expected to be accommodated on other flights or receive a refund.

Europe’s second biggest airline has been grappling with staff unrest since it recognised trade unions for the first time in December 2017, in a bid to ward off widespread strikes over the Christmas period.

Action

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 Irish trade union Fórsa, with both claiming the other side has refused to meet to resolve the dispute.

Earlier this month, trade union Fórsa, which represents Irish pilots, had complained that Ryanair management had not met with the union enough to thrash out a deal.

A  spokesman said: “For over a month, the union has said that industrial action is likely to continue until there is substantial movement on the pilots’ reasonable demands for an agreement on a fair and transparent approach to base transfers and related matters.

In the 19 days since the first one-day strike took place, company management has agreed to just two hours of talks, despite Fórsa’s repeated assurance that it is available for discussions at any time. The union has today told Ryanair that it remains available for talks.

Ryanair said it “deeply regrets” that further strike action has been planned.

The airline’s Chief Marketing Officer Kenny Jacobs said the fifth day of strike action is “irresponsible” and “disrupting customers”.

Jacobs said Fórsa has called for meetings with Ryanair but rejected invitations from the airline over the past two weeks and “instead called a fourth strike tomorrow and now a fifth strike by just 25% of Irish pilots”.

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