Judge gives go-ahead for Dutch-based Ryanair pilots strike on 10 August. Flights will operate with foreign pilots


It is now 100% sure that Ryanair pilots based in The Netherlands will join the strike of their Belgian, German, Irish and Swedish colleagues tomorrow, 10 August. A court in Haarlem has decided on Thursday evening that the pilots are allowed to proceed with their industrial action. Ryanair nevertheless announced that all its Dutch flights would operate with pilots from foreign bases.

Ryanair tried to prevent the strike by going to court in summary proceedings: the Irish low-cost airline requested a ban on strikes on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays during the holiday period, because these would have too great consequences for holidaymakers. But according to the judge, the airline has insufficiently motivated the affirmation that the society would be harmed too much by the industrial action.

A total of 22 flights to and from Eindhoven Airport are scheduled on Friday. Whether all those flights will be cancelled was initially unclear; Ryanair already deployed replacement pilots in the past to allow such flights to continue. And it managed to do it again today: all flights to/from The Netherlands will operate with pilots from foreign bases.

Ryanair also demanded that VNV announces strikes longer in advance. The judge went along and obliged the union to announce strikes 72 hours in advance. He added the condition that Ryanair may not use replacement pilots from other bases for that day. Since this strike was announced at a shorter notice, foreign replacement pilots are not against the judgement.

For the last eight months, the Dutch Airline Pilots Association (VNV, Dutch ALPA) has tried to negotiate a collective labour agreement between Ryanair and the Dutch ALPA without any result. This European pilot strike should be a wake up call for the Ryanair management. Our goal is clear : ‘RYANAIR MUST CHANGE’ and respect the rights of its workers. The Dutch ALPA demands are modest: Dutch law should be applied; no more bogus self-employment and a sufficient sick pay and pension,” VNV announced in a press release.


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