Some Dublin based Rynair pilots will be going on strike just five days before Christmas.
On December 20, the Ryanair pilots who are also members of the Irish Airline Pilots’ Association (IALPA) are planning industrial action. There is also the possibility of further strike days on top of this if an agreement is not made.
Those organising the strike are said to be pilots who are directly employed by the airline, mostly made up of captains. This has caused concerns among some customers regarding potential disruption to flights.
According to trade union IMPACT, the strike is on account of a continuing dispute over Ryanair’s collective bargaining system, with Ryanair being the only Irish airline refusing to recognise independent pilot representatives.
Lovely. I thought that I was giving myself a relaxing journey home for Christmas – missing out on some of the busiest days. Instead, the flight that I booked ages ago happens to be on the @Ryanair strike day. Wonder when I'll find out if I need to make new arrangements.
— Deirdre Toher (@dtoher) December 12, 2017
— sancizzy (@sancizzy) December 12, 2017
Industrial action was overwhelmingly backed by a margin of 94% to 6% in last week’s secret ballot, according to IMPACT.
This news comes while Ryanair is still trying to recover from the impact of flight cancellations due to crew rostering issues.
It has also been reported how pilots at less than a third of Ryanair’s 87 bases have accepted an offer of pay increases.
The way these pilots are treated by Ryanair I'm not surprised they are going on strike.
— Andy Martin (@AndyAndymartin3) December 12, 2017
IMPACT has explained how Ryanair has refused to negotiate with the European Employee Representative Council (EERC) or IALPA as the only independent representative body for pilots working for the airline.
Furthermore, the trade union claims Ryanair has refused to recognise the EERC or IALPA, insisting the discussion of pay or working conditions should be carried out through management-controlled ’employee representative councils’.
IMPACT official Ashley Connolly has made the following statement:
This dispute is solely about winning independent representation for pilots in the company.
Management’s failed negotiating model has let down shareholders and tens of thousands of passengers, whose flights were cancelled this year because company-controlled industrial relations proved incapable of recruiting and retaining enough pilots.
The failed policy threatens to further disappoint shareholders and passengers, and further damage the airline’s reputation, because experienced pilots continue to leave the airline in droves.
This dispute is about securing a safe space for negotiations, with independent representation that pilots can have confidence in.
Michael O'Leary's Tinder as Ryanair pilots serve notice for strike. (via xkcd) pic.twitter.com/31P3ThkSqN
— Cillian Sherlock (@cilliansherlock) December 12, 2017
Ryanair has told pilots in Ireland how any industrial action would be tackled ‘head on’.
Warnings have been issued about promotions being frozen, pilot pay being cut and planes being moved out of Dublin altogether.
In a public statement, Ryanair – which doesn’t recognise trade unions – has said:
Ryanair has already confirmed that any Dublin pilots who participate in this industrial action will be in breach of the Dublin pilots base agreement and they will lose those agreed benefits which arise from dealing directly with Ryanair.
#Ryanair Irish based pilots belonging to the Irish Airline Pilots’ Association (IALPA)/IMPACT union to hold a one day strike on Wednesday 20th December. ONly directly employed pilots but most are captains without whom planes can't fly.
— Ingrid Miley (@ingridmileyRTE) December 12, 2017
The budget airline also said:
Like any group of workers, Ryanair’s very well paid pilots are free to join unions, but like every other multinational, Ryanair is also free – under both Irish & EU law – to decline to engage with (competitor pilot) unions.
Ryanair will not recognise an Aer Lingus pilot union, no matter how often or how long this tiny minority (earning between €150,000 to €190,000 p.a.) try to disrupt our flights or our customers plans during Christmas week.
If Ryanair strike and I'm unable to get home for Christmas I will burn everything to the ground. Everything.
— Free Shovaca do (@Zoe_Mooney) December 12, 2017
Further information will reportedly be given once available.
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.