Irish Ryanair pilots to strike before Christmas

Ireland based Ryanair pilots who are members of IALPA have notified Ryanair of their intent to take industrial action before Christmas, a move which the Irish budget carrier says it will “face down”.

83 Ryanair pilots who are members of the Irish Airline Pilots Association (IALPA) voted to take industrial action in a secret ballot at the weekend and the airline was notified today in a letter which said that had south a mandate for industrial action up to and including strike action if Ryanair:

  • Continues to fail to recognise the European Employee Representative Council (EERC) or IALPA as a representative body for pilots in Ryanair including IALPA’s members.
  • COmmence disciplinary proceedings or disciplinary action against any IALPA member as a result of the current dispute.
  • Reduce in any way the pay, terms and conditions of employment of any member of IALPA, the IALPA (Ryanair) Company Council or the EERC as a result of the current dispute.

The letter, signed by National Secretary Angela Kirk goes on to say that the members will engage in strike action for 24 hours on the 20th December starting at 00:01hrs.

In a statement Ryanair said Ryanair welcomes this notice which conclusively proves that it is about union recognition for the Aer Lingus pilots union IALPA and not about pay and conditions for Ryanair pilots who in Dublin can earn between €150,000 to €190,000 p.a. for working a 5on/4off roster (a double bank holiday weekend every week), and have been offered a 20% pay increase (at a time when IALPA are recommending a 3% increase to Aer Lingus pilots).

Ryanair will deal with any such disruptions if, or when they arise, and we apologise sincerely to customers for any upset or worry this threatened action by less than 28% of our Dublin pilots may cause them over the coming days.”

In what has already turned into a battle of words the airline said it was “surprised that IALPA has threatened to disrupt Christmas week travel” and has made it clear to pilots that “any Dublin pilots who participate in this industrial action will be in breach of the Dublin pilots base agreement and they will lose those agreed benefits which arise from dealing directly with Ryanair, including the 5on/4off rosters, certain pay benefits and promotion opportunities until such time as they chose to return to the 25 year established practice of dealing directly with Ryanair.”

Speaking about recognising the Unions Ryanair said “Like any group of workers, Ryanair’s very well paid pilots are free to join unions, but like every other multinational, Ryanair is also free – under both Irish & EU law – to decline to engage with (competitor pilot) unions. Ryanair will not recognise an Aer Lingus pilot union, no matter how often or how long this tiny minority (earning between €150,000 to €190,000 p.a.) try to disrupt our flights or our customer’s plans during Christmas week.”

The news comes as German, Italian and Portuguese Ryanair pilots are also threatening industrial action. A move which Ryanair claims is also down to its competitors.

About Nick Harding 1948 Articles
Nick is the senior reporter and editor at UK Aviation News as well as working freelance elsewhere. He has his finger firmly on the pulse on Aviation, not only in the UK but worldwide. Nick has been asked to speak in a professional capacity on LBC, Heart and other broadcast networks.