Ryanair Irish pilots withdraw from mediation, will strike for 48 hours on August 22-23

Ryanair made this announcement:

Ryanair pilots and their union Fórsa on August 14 withdrew from Mediation talks chaired by Mr Kieran Mulvey when no progress was made on their unrealistic and unimplementable pay proposals.

At yesterday’s mediation, the Ryanair Pilots Committee and Fórsa confirmed that they are seeking pay increases of 101% on top of current annual pay of over €172,000. Ryanair Pilots are insisting on these pay demands being met, just one day after Norwegian announced the closure of its Dublin operations with the loss of over 120 crew jobs, despite the fact that Ryanair has a surplus of over 500 pilots due to the delayed delivery of over 30 MAX aircraft this winter, and just 10 weeks before a “no-deal” Brexit could cause further disruption to air travel and airline jobs in Ireland and the UK.

Ryanair has called on its pilots and the Fórsa union to return to Independent Mediation with reasonable proposals which reflect the falling airfares and profits Ryanair has recently reported, as well as the fact that Ryanair pilot pay is already 20% ahead of comparable 737 airline pilot pay in Norwegian and Jet2.

Speaking yesterday evening, Ryanair’s Chief People Officer Eddie Wilson said:

“We have done everything in our power to avoid disruption to our flights and our customers’ holidays. However, no company can concede to grossly unreasonable demands from its highest paid workers for a further pay increase of over 100% (when they already agreed and received a 20% pay increase earlier this year) at a time when the airline industry is in crisis.

Ryanair pilots who are already among the best paid workers in Ireland are now threatening to disrupt the holiday travel plans of thousands of customers over the coming weeks as they demand that their pay be increased from €172,000 p.a. to over €347,000 p.a. that would see them earn more than the President of Ireland or our Taoiseach, even as Norwegian makes all of its Dublin pilots redundant. We remain willing to engage in Mediation with our pilots and Fórsa but call on them to avoid disrupting our customers’ travel plans in pursuit of what are clearly unrealistic and unimplementable pay proposals.”

 

Meanwhile Forsa issued this statement:

Directly-employed Ryanair pilots based in Ireland are to take strike action for 48 hours from 00.01am on Thursday 22nd August. Their union served strike notice on the company this evening (Wednesday), and said Ryanair pilots would notify the company of further strike days in due course.

The move comes after 94% of directly-employed Ryanair pilots, who are members of the Irish Airline Pilots’ Association (IALPA), voted to back industrial action in a long-running dispute over pay, working conditions and related issues.

The union said that the Irish Airline Pilots’ Association (IALPA) had submitted a 30-page proposal to Ryanair management in March of this year, which sought pay levels and structures it says are in line with sector norms. The IALPA claim also included proposals on pensions, working conditions and related matters.

Yesterday (Tuesday) the union accepted an invitation from mediator Kieran Mulvey to attend talks this afternoon. It said that only a substantive counter-proposal from Ryanair management, which properly addressed all areas of the IALPA claim, was required to convince pilots’ representatives not to take strike action next week. No such counter-proposal was made at the mediation meeting today.

Denying management claims that the company had not received specific proposals, the union said Ryanair had received detailed proposals almost four months ago. But the airline made no significant response, even in the face of a costly and potentially disruptive stoppage.

Fórsa national secretary Angela Kirk said Ryanair pilots told her they’d been forced into industrial action by the company’s failure to offer any significant response to their proposals over a four-month period. She said she regretted any disruption that might flow from management’s unwillingness or inability to negotiate a fair and transparent pay package, even at this late hour.

IALPA is seeking pay levels it believes are common and competitive in the commercial airline sector, from a company that made a substantial profit of €1 billion last year. They tell me they feel forced into serving notice of potentially-disruptive industrial action by a company that seems either unwilling or unable to negotiate in a professional, transparent and constructive manner,” she said.

Some 180 directly-employed Ryanair pilots based in Ireland, who are members of IALPA, were eligible to vote in the strike ballot, the results of which were announced last Friday (9th August). Ryanair pilots who are employed by agencies, or have so-called ‘self-employed’ status, cannot be balloted under Irish employment law.

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