Published: Thu, December 14, 2017
Markets | By Erika Turner

Ryanair hit by Ireland pilot Christmas strike

Ryanair hit by Ireland pilot Christmas strike

Ryanair pilots who are members of the Irish Airline Pilots' Association (IALPA), a branch of IMPACT trade union, have this afternoon (Tuesday) served company management with notice of a one-day strike on Wednesday 20 December.

Pilots are pushing for better conditions at the carrier and the Irish umbrella IMPACT trade union said Irish-based pilots employed directly by Ryanair and who are members of the IALPA pilots union will withdraw their labour on December 20.

Although the airline has around 300 pilots based in Dublin, reports said the strike ballot was issued to the 84 pilots directly employed by Ryanair.

Passengers planning to fly with low-priced carrier Ryanair face potential disruption in the build-up to Christmas after staff announced plans for industrial action in a bid to win union recognition and better conditions.

"This dispute is exclusively about winning independent representation for pilots in the company", said Ms Connolly. Pilots across the airline's 87 European bases are campaigning for better conditions.

IMPACT has warned of further strikes if agreement is not reached.

Ryanair has offered its pilots a 20% pay increase, which some have yet to accept.

Ryanair responded with a statement that said the pilots striking would likely "shortly leave Ryanair" and "don't care how much upset they cause colleagues or customers."

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"If any such action takes place, Ryanair will deal with it head on, but we will not deal with or recognise the Lufthansa pilots union VC, regardless of what action - if any - takes place".

Irish-based pilots are holding the 24 hour stoppage just five days before Christmas, although there are reports that flights from Shannon won't be affected as pilots there have already agreed a new pay deal.

"Ryanair will not recognise an Aer Lingus pilot union, no matter how often or long this tiny minority (earning between €150,000 to €190,000 p.a.) try to disrupt our flights or customers' plans during Christmas week".

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary urged pilots not to leave and promised better pay and working conditions.

Pilots who are members of IALPA voted last week to support industrial action.

Trade union Impact said it would either disrupt flights or generate substantial costs for the airline.

She added: "This dispute is about securing a safe space for negotiations, with independent representation that pilots can have confidence in". The pilots taking action are directly employed by the company.

Ryanair said the strike notice it received from IMPACT "proves that it is about union recognition for the Aer Lingus pilots union IALPA and not about pay and conditions". Italian pilots are due to stage the company's first ever strike by pilots on Friday. Ryanair will strike from 1pm to 5pm.

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