Published on Thursday, December 7, 2017

Ryanair ignores pilot strike threats

Ryanair has dismissed the threat of strike action later this month by pilots in Portugal and Italy, and has warned pilots in Ireland not to follow suit.

Pilots in Italy are threatening to stage a four-hour walk-out on December 15 and pilots in Portugal have also served formal notice of industrial action.

They want Ryanair to engage in collective bargaining across all of its European bases through a newly-formed European Employee Representative Committee (EERC).

But Ryanair wants to continue negotiating salaries and working conditions individually with each of its bases and refuses to recognise unions.

Responding to the decision in Portugal, the Irish Air Line Pilots' Association (IALPA) said its members were 'currently examining their options'.

"The pilot issues which gave rise to the flight cancellations in Ryanair earlier this year have not been adequately addressed," said Captain Evan Cullen, IALPA president.

"While we support a pilot's entitlement for fair representation we cannot prejudice this dispute or endanger its process by speculation.

"As this is a developing Ryanair pilot trade dispute in another jurisdiction, IALPA are not currently in a position for further comment."

IALPA also published a video this week telling Ryanair chief Michael O'Leary to 'grow up' and show pilots some respect.

"No more whipsawing. One pilot voice, one negotiating team now. We stand as one. We, the pilots of Ryanair, are not short-term, expendable commodities. We are vital company assets. Treat us accordingly," the video said.

Ryanair said it was ignoring the strike threats.

"We regularly receive threats of industrial action from competitor airline pilot unions from Italy, Portugal and even Aer Lingus pilots occasionally. Both we and our pilots ignore these letters," it said in a statement..

"This is the sixth time FIT/CISL or ANPAC has announced strikes by Ryanair pilots, only to postpone/cancel them later. We expect this latest threatened strike will also be postponed/cancelled since both FIT/CISL and ANPAC are Alitalia unions with no role in Ryanair."

It has reportedly warned pilots in Dublin that it would meet any attempts at strike action 'head on' and would move some aircraft out of the capital.

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