A pilots union that represents Ryanair’s directly-employed flight crew in Ireland announced yesterday its intention to stage a 48-hour strike in a long-running dispute over pay and conditions. The walkout, which is due to start on 22nd August, has been timed to coincide with a strike by Ryanair’s pilots in the United Kingdom after last-ditch mediation talks broke down.
The Fórsa trade union said it “regretted” any disruption the industrial action might cause passengers during the busy Summer holiday travel period but that it had been forced to take action because of Ryanair’s “unwillingness or inability to negotiate a fair and transparent pay package.”
Angela Kirk, national secretary of Fórsa said pilots had submitted a detailed pay proposal over four months ago but had failed to achieve any significant response from Ryanair. Fórsa hasn’t publicly detailed exactly what improvements they are seeking but says it is simply asking for pay that is “common and competitive in the commercial airline sector.”
Ryanair fired back today calling the proposal “unrealistic and unimplementable”, and claiming the union was demanding a 101% pay rise on top of a 20% rise the airline had already implemented. By Ryanair’s calculations, meeting those demands would push wages for Ireland-based pilots up to around €345,000 a year.
According to Ryanair, it’s pilots already earn more than their peers at both Norwegian and Jet2.
Some 180 directly employed Ryanair pilots in Ireland may take part in next weeks strike action after industrial action was overwhelmingly backed last week. A similar number of pilots in the United Kingdom are also expected to stage a walkout on the same dates if a deal can not be reached.
Today, the BALPA pilots union urged Ryanair to return to mediation talks in a final attempt to hammer out a deal.