A Christmas strike at Ryanair: Irish-based pilots to strike on 20 December

2
532

Ryanair pilots who are members of the Irish Airline Pilots’ Association (IALPA), a branch of IMPACT trade union, have this afternoon (Tuesday) served company management with notice of a one-day strike on Wednesday 20th December. Irish-based directly-employed pilots, mostly captains, will withdraw their labour in an action that IMPACT says will either disrupt flights or generate substantial costs to the airline.

The pilots backed industrial action by a margin of 94% to 6% in secret ballots conducted over the last week.

The dispute is over Ryanair management’s refusal to enter direct negotiations with the European Employee Representative Council (EERC) or IALPA as the sole independent representative body for pilots working in the company. The airline has so far refused to recognise the EERC or IALPA, and insists that any discussion of pay and working conditions be conducted through management-controlled “employee representative councils.”

The union has warned of further strike days if agreement is not reached.

Although the number of employees involved in the strike is fewer than the total number of Irish-based Ryanair pilots, the action will have impact because planes cannot legally or safely fly without a captain.

IMPACT official Ashley Connolly said Ryanair was the only Irish-based airline that refuses to recognise independent pilot representatives. “This dispute is solely about winning independent representation for pilots in the company. Management’s failed negotiating model has let down shareholders and tens of thousands of passengers, whose flights were cancelled this year because company-controlled industrial relations proved incapable of recruiting and retaining enough pilots.”

The failed policy threatens to further disappoint shareholders and passengers, and further damage the airline’s reputation, because experienced pilots continue to leave the airline in droves. This dispute is about securing a safe space for negotiations, with independent representation that pilots can have confidence in,” she said.

The union has made repeated attempts to open discussions with airline management in recent months.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Ryanair has this afternoon received the attached notice from the Aer Lingus pilots union IALPA of a 24 hour strike “by pilots directly employed by Ryanair” on Wed 20 Dec 2017.

    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.

    Ryanair is surprised that IALPA has threatened to disrupt Christmas week travel when IALPA’s own numbers confirm that it has the support of less than 28% of Ryanair’s over 300 Dublin pilots and when Ryanair’s Belfast, Cork and Shannon bases have already agreed these 20% pay deals. While some disruption may occur, Ryanair believes this will largely be confined to a small group of pilots who are working their notice and will shortly leave Ryanair, so they don’t care how much upset they cause colleagues or customers.

    Ryanair has already confirmed 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.

    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 customers plans during Christmas week.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.