Pilots of Ryanair in Ireland have announced a strike action days before Christmas.
The Irish Air Line Pilots’ Association, Trade union, announced that a majority of its 84 members that are employed at Ryanair supported industrial action in a secret ballot which occurred this weekend.
Ryanair was informed of the said strike – which is set to take place on the 20th of December – during lunchtime on Tuesday.
Although Stansted is the largest base of Ryanair, it is headquartered in Dublin, and the Irish strike can possibly cause disruption to flights during the hectic Christmas period.
Ryanair has 360 pilots that are based in Dublin.
The Irish contingent joins pilots of Ryanair in Germany and Italy in voting for industrial action.
Pilots that are based in Italy plan a four-hour strike this Friday, December 15. Those that are working for Vueling, Alitalia, and Ryanair will take part, as well as some air traffic controllers. Ryanair will hold a strike from 1pm to 5pm.
It is the second announcement regarding a strike for the Italians. Last month, they planned a similar stoppage. However, they cancelled it at the last minute.
The Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) of the German pilots union revealed that a Ryanair strike “ could be expected at any time.” Pilots across the 87 European bases of the airline are campaigning for better conditions. Ryanair has already offered pay increases. However, fewer than a third of the company’s bases have accepted.
The German trade union pledged to avoid striking over Christmas, from the 23rd to the 26th of December.
However, striking days beforehand will mean crew and planes in the wrong places, and the run-on impact could be unfavourable for the holiday getaway.
In a statement, Ryanair stated: “Ryanair will deal with any such disruptions if, or when they arise, and we apologise sincerely to customers for any upset or worry this threatened action by less than 28 per cent of our Dublin pilots may cause them over the coming days.
“While some disruption may occur, Ryanair believes this will largely be confined to a small group of pilots who are working their notice and will shortly leave Ryanair, so they don’t care how much upset they cause colleagues or customers.”
The statement, calling IALPA the “Aer Lingus pilots union”, stated:
“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.”
In another statement, Ryanair said regarding the German strike: “Ryanair has received no notification of any industrial action by its German pilots so we suspect this is more PR activity by the Lufthansa pilots group VC.
“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.”
The airline stated that it expects that the Italian strike to be called off.