Ryanair strikes set to spread to Germany: Pilots vote for industrial action after failing to agree labour terms with management
- German pilot union Vereinigung Cockpit has been holding talks with Ryanair
- The two sides had tried to form a collective labour agreement but were unable to
- Union say that 96% of German Ryanair pilots have voted in favour of strike action
- It warns if strikes aren’t taken seriously, then more stoppages are ‘inevitable’
Ryanair passengers face yet more disruption – because now the carrier’s German pilots have voted to strike.
Management from Europe’s biggest low-cost carrier met with the Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) pilot union in Frankfurt last week in order to form a collective labour agreement.
But VC said the talks ended without the progress they had hoped for and after balloting members, it said 96 per cent of the airline’s pilots in Germany had voted in favour of strike action.
The union is giving Ryanair until August 6 to make another offer, VC said in a statement, announcing it would host a press conference on August 8 to discuss its next steps.
It said it will give at least 24 hours’ notice of any strikes.
‘Ryanair has been playing for time in the negotiations since January,’ VC said.
‘If the signal given by this vote is not taken seriously, then strikes – such as in other European countries – are inevitable.’
Ryanair, headed by CEO Michael O’Leary, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Dublin-based carrier is in the midst of its biggest series of strike actions in its 34-year history – 600 flights were cancelled across Europe last week affecting 100,000 passengers after cabin crew in Spain, Portugal, Belgium and Italy walked out.
Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary. The Dublin-based carrier is in the midst of its biggest strike action in its 34-year history
The budget airline said that the customers were given refunds or new flights – but some complained they were left stranded.
And thousands have been affected by striking pilots based in Dublin.
They’ve stopped working three times in a row over annual leave and promotions and plan to walk out again on Friday (August 3).
Ryanair responded by announcing plans to cut up to 300 pilot and cabin crew jobs at its Dublin base and neither side has shown any sign of backing down.
This week’s strike by Irish pilots will see 20 of Ryanair’s 290 Irish flights cancelled at the beginning of a busy weekend and affected customers were due to be contacted last week.
German pilots were the first to strike at Ryanair, last year, but the disruption was limited.