Ryanair’s directly employed pilots in Ireland will join colleagues in Sweden and Belgium on strike in an escalating day of action next week.
The pilots will walk out on August 10 – the fifth one-day walkout in the airline’s home market.
It is also expected that pilots employed in Germany and the Netherlands will walk out on the same day.
Ryanair’s directly employed pilots in Ireland will join colleagues in Sweden and Belgium on strike in an escalating day of action next week
Ryanair has also suffered strikes in some of its other main markets such as Spain and Portugal as it struggles to reach collective labour agreements across Europe.
The Irish airline, Europe’s largest by passenger numbers, has responded with chief executive Michael O’Leary threatening to move jobs away from any bases affected by the stoppages.
It is beginning with Dublin where it cut its winter fleet by 20 per cent and put over 300 employees on preliminary notice.
Trade union Forsa, which represents the Irish pilots, hit out at the airline following the warning.
It said that the pilots continue to seek a ‘fair and transparent method’ to govern base transfers and related matters which they say is common practice in the industry.
In a statement, Forsa said on Thursday: ‘For over a month, the union has said that industrial action is likely to continue until there is substantial movement on the pilots’ reasonable demands for an agreement on a fair and transparent approach to base transfers and related matters.
‘In the 19 days since the first one-day strike took place, company management has agreed to just two hours of talks, despite Forsa’s repeated assurance that it is available for discussions at any time.
‘The union has today told Ryanair that it remains available for talks. The airline’s escalation of the dispute last Wednesday when it threatened to sack 100 pilots and 200 cabin crew, or transfer them to Poland – led to a predictable hardening of resolve among its staff.
Ryanair’s chief executive Michael O’Leary has threatened to move jobs away from any bases affected by the stoppages
‘Company management met the union the day before the first one-day strike, and two days before the second one-day strike (on July 18). It then changed its position and said it would not negotiate while strike action was planned.’
The union said that two weeks have passed since their last meeting with management and warned that a resolution to the dispute cannot be reached if the airline has ‘precondition’ talks.
The union added: ‘On a number of occasions in recent weeks and months, there have been suggestions that third-party facilitation could assist in reaching consensus on issues of disagreement.
‘Forsa has today repeated to the company that it is willing to explore this option.’
However, Ryaniar’s cheif marketing officer, Kenny Jacobs, said: ‘This fifth strike notice by Forsa is irresponsible, unwarranted and is disrupting customers and (a way of damaging) Ryanair’s business.
‘Forsa has called for meetings with Ryanair, yet during each of the past two weeks when Ryanair has invited Forsa to meet, Forsa has rejected these invitations and instead called a fourth strike tomorrow (3rd Aug), and now a fifth trike (Fri 10th Aug) by just 25 per cent of Irish pilots.
Ryanair pilots in the Forsa union form a picket line outside the airline’s headquarters in Swords, County Dublin, while on an earlier strike
‘In most unions where four strikes have failed to have any effect, the unions and employer would be entering into negotiations to resolve the dispute.
‘Even when Ryanair invites Forsa to more meetings, Forsa just calls more strikes. Forsa should now explain why another 3,500 Irish customers will have their flights and holidays next Friday disrupted when Forsa have refused not one, but two invitations to meet with Ryanair to resolve this dispute.
‘Forsa should also explain why when Ryanair has agreed nine of their 11 requirements, they call strikes rather than negotiate.’
Ryanair has cancelled around 20 of Friday’s 300 Irish flights as a result of the strike, mainly on busy routes to and from Ireland and Britain, and has said impacted passengers have either been put on another flight or refunded.
The carrier, which operates from 86 bases in 37 countries and carried 130 million passengers last year, decided to recognise unions for the first time in its 32-year history last December to avert widespread strikes before Christmas.
Its shares fell further on Thursday and were 3.7 per cent lower at 13.00 euros by 1430 GMT, the lowest mark since November 2016 and eight per cent below the level they sunk to in December when Ryanair shocked the markets by recognising unions.
TIMELINE OF STRIKES AT RYANAIR
December 22, 2017: Ryanair is unable to avert its first ever pilots strike when pilots in Germany hold a four-hour walkout with little impact on flights.
February 10, 2018: Three Italian unions representing mainly cabin and ground crew stage a four-hour strike because they were not included in contract negotiations with Ryanair.
March 29, 2018: Ryanair cancels dozens of flights to and from airports in Portugal when cabin crew union SNPVAC staged three one-day strikes on March 29, April 1 and April 4.
July 12, 2018: Around a quarter of Ryanair’s 350 pilots bases in its home country of Ireland go on strike for the first time in a push for better conditions.
July 20, 2018: Ryanair cancel 24 of around 2,300 daily flights after a second one-day strike by Irish pilots.
July 24, 2018: Ryanair cancels 16 of around 2,300 daily flights after the third one-day strike by Irish pilots.
July 25 and 26, 2018: Cabin crew in Italy, Spain, Portugal and Belgium stage a two-day strike that forces Ryanair to cancel the flights of more than 50,000 customers.
July 30, 2018: Ryanair pilots in Germany overwhelmingly vote to strike and give the airline until August 6 to make a better offer after talks on a collective labour agreement ended without the progress the Vereinigung Cockpit pilot union sought.
July 31, 2018: Pilots in the Netherlands back the Dutch Airline Pilots Association call for industrial action in a vote the unions calls a necessary ‘wake up call’ in negotiations.
August 3, 2018: Irish pilots plan a fourth one-day strike, causing Ryanair to cancel 20 flights. The airline has already responded to the Irish action by making good on a threat to move jobs away from any bases impacted by the stoppages, beginning with Dublin where it cut its winter fleet by 20 per cent last week.
August 10, 2018: Ryanair pilots in Sweden are set to strike, citing management’s failure to meet union representatives for more than eight months. Unions in Belgium have also called on pilots to strike on the same day. Irish pilots will also stage their fifth 24-hour strike.