Another setback for Ryanair and its passengers as pilot union VC (Vereinigung Cockpit) called for a strike at Ryanair airports in Germany on 10 August, the same date as their Belgian, Swedish and Irish colleagues, who previously called for a 24-hour strike. In Germany, Ryanair is forced to cancel 250 out of over 2,400 flights scheduled to operate that day.
In a press statement VC explained that an overwhelming 96% approved industrial actions. “As no improved offer has been received from Ryanair since 30 July, the strike has been confirmed and set on 10 August,” VC announced. “We demand improvements in pay and working conditions,” says Martin Locher, president of VC. “Improvements are inconceivable without an increase in personnel cockpit costs. During negotiations Ryanair categorically ruled out any such increases. At the same time, Ryanair has not shown any interest to find solutions. It is only Ryanair, which is responsible for the escalation which has now taken place,” adds Martin Locher.
Meanwhile Ryanair has informed its customers affected by these cancellations by email and SMS text message and advised them of their options of a refund, free move on to the next available flight or reroute. Flight operations are scheduled to resume normal services on Saturday 11 August 2018.
Ryanair’s chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said:
“We regret the decision of the VC to go ahead with this unnecessary strike action given that we sent through a revised proposal on a Collective Labour Agreement (on Fri 3 Aug) and stated our intention to work towards achieving a CLA together. We also invited VC to meet us on Tuesday (7 Aug) but they did not respond to this invitation.
Our pilots in Germany enjoy excellent working conditions. They are paid up to €190,000 p.a. and, as well as additional benefits, they received a 20% pay increase at the start of this year. Ryanair pilots earn at least 30% more than Eurowings and 20% more than Norwegian pilots.
We asked VC to provide us with at least 7 days’ notice of any planned strike action so that we could notify our customers of cancelled flights in advance and offer them alternative flights or refunds, but they have refused to do this and instead call an unnecessary strike in Germany in just two days’ time.
Ryanair is ready to continue these negotiations (as confirmed by our Aug 3 proposal). We again call on the VC to remove the threat of an unjustified and unnecessary strike, to commit to providing reasonable (7 days) notice of strike action and to accept our invitations to meet for meaningful negotiations on a CLA for our German pilots and minimise disruption to German customers.
Ryanair is now forced to cancel 250 flights of over 2,400 flights scheduled to operate on Friday 10 August. We apologise to our customers for this unnecessary strike and regrettable disruption.”
“VC regrets the impact on affected passengers, cabin crew and ground crew. Passengers may wish to contact Ryanair directly regarding their scheduled flights as only the company itself can tell which flights are going to operate,” VC added.