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UK Ryanair pilots vote for two days of strike action

The industrial action will take place on 23 August and 4 September.

Image: Shutterstock/Rebius

Updated Aug 7th 2019, 6:58 PM

THE BRITISH AIRLINE Pilots Association (Balpa) has announced its UK-based Ryanair pilots have voted for two days of strike action.

A ballot of Ryanair pilots today a 80% vote in favour of strike action from Balpa members, and they’re now set to strike on Friday 23 August and Wednesday 4 September.

The industrial action follows Ryanair’s refusal to deal with unions over a period of decades, according to Balpa.

It said: “Firstly, a management that apparently doesn’t understand how to work with unions, and secondly a company that doesn’t have a number of standard agreements that any union would reasonably expect in any workplace.”

Its claim relates to pensions, loss of licence insurance, maternity benefits, allowances and a “fair, transparent and consistent pay structure”. 

Brian Strutton, Balpa General Secretary, said “We have had no formal offer from Ryanair and it is imperative that we resolve this dispute urgently to avoid strike action. No pilot wants to spoil the public’s travel plans but at the moment it seems we have no choice.”

Balpa represents over 10,000 pilots from 23 different companies, which it says represents over 85% of all commercial pilots in the UK. 

In a statement, Ryanair said it is “disappointed” with the planned industrial action.

The strike “has the support of less than 30% of Ryanair’s UK pilots,” the airline claimed. It said that 70% of Ryanair’s UK pilots are not members of Balpa, or did not vote in the ballot. 

“Balpa have no mandate to disrupt our customers’ holidays and flights, particularly at a time when UK pilots are facing job losses due to the Boeing MAX delivery delays, and the threat of a no deal Brexit on 31 October,” Ryanair said. 

The airline added that its UK pilots agreed a 20% salary increase last year, with senior captains earning more than competitor airline rates. 

Ryanair concluded that it has written to Balpa asking the union to return to talks. 

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Sean Murray

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