The biggest strike in Ryanair’s history looms for 28 September but Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) is calling on Ryanair pilots to take industrial action already from next Wednesday (12 September) starting at 03:01 (UTC +2) until Thursday (13 September) 02:59 (UTC +2). All pilots permanently employed at Ryanair bases in Germany are called to strike. All flights scheduled to depart from German airports during this time will be affected.
Update: on 11 September Ryanair replied on the announcement of the industrial action: “Since we have already offered local contracts and improved pay there is no justification for further disruption and we are calling on our German pilots to work this Wednesday.”
Press statement: Vereinigung Cockpit calling Ryanair pilots to Strike
VC is demanding improvements concerning pay and working conditions for many months now. Up to this day Ryanair management has not issued an improved offer, although VC’s demands have not changed since last year.
Ingolf Schumacher, head of Industrial Relations VC said: “Despite the strong signal of the strike action beginning of August, negotiations have come to a standstill. We are ultimately expecting solutions.“
VC therefore invited Ryanair management in September to enter arbitration talks. VC also presented detailed proposals concerning the arbitration process. Instead of responding to VC’s proposals and signing an arbitration agreement with VC, Ryanair management only tried to stall by issuing vague and meaningless statements. Ryanair management still does not seem to be interested in finding a solution at all.
From VC’s perspective, an arbitrator must have sufficient knowledge of German Law. In addition, an arbitrator must be capable of guiding both parties to reach an overall solution. VC has proposed several suitable individuals, who were all rejected by Ryanair. Instead, Ryanair management still insists on an Irish Mediator, who could not possibly have enough knowledge of German Law and therefore already is not qualified to act as an arbitrator in this case.
Schumacher said: “Ryanair obviously tries to dictate their terms and conditions through the backdoor. This is not going to be successful.“
Agreements reached between Ryanair management and the Irish and Italian pilots cannot be a blue print for a solution in Germany. The mentioned agreements lack aspects which are crucial to reach an overall solution in Germany. Up to now, even in Ireland no collective agreements on pay or general working conditions have been reached. Therefore, industrial action still cannot be ruled out. In Italy, structural aspects of duty times and pay have not been adequately regulated from VC’s perspective.
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.