Ryanair pilots to strike on 3rd August and warn further strikes may follow

Irish-based Ryanair pilots who are members of the Irish Airline Pilots’ Association (Ialpa) are to strike a fourth day on Friday 3rd August. Their union Fórsa said further strike action would follow later this month unless the airline’s management changed tack and negotiated in good faith on the issue of base transfers and related matters.

In a statement today, Fórsa said it believed the airline’s decision to issue protective notice to 300 of its staff today (Wednesday) was an attempt to put pressure on its employees. It said the provocative act, which was likely to harden pilots’ resolve, had escalated the dispute while demonstrating management’s unwillingness or inability to negotiate with unions in good faith.

Fórsa issued the following statement:

“Ryanair’s unnecessary decision to issue protective notice to 300 of its staff today is reckless and unnecessary, and demonstrates management’s unwillingness and/or inability to implement the airline’s declared intention to agree working conditions with its staff by negotiating with their chosen trade union representatives.

The move also belies recent Ryanair statements that industrial action by the Irish Airline Pilots’ Association (Ialpa) has had no impact on the company’s operations.

It is normal practice for airlines to reduce activity in the winter months. In light of this – and of Ryanair’s recent difficulty in recruiting and retaining enough pilots to fulfil its schedules – it remains unclear if todays’ provocative move heralds a significant change in normal practice.

However, the union sees today’s announcement as a provocative gesture which is likely to harden pilots’ resolve.

Last Friday (20th July), the union wrote to Ryanair management to say it remained available for negotiations. There has still been no response to this. Fórsa remains available for talks, and believes it is possible to reach an agreement on the issues in dispute through negotiations.

Given its inability or unwillingness to engage in constructive negotiations, Ryanair management would do well to consider the use of independent third party mediation, as has frequently been suggested by Fórsa, to help the parties reach a settlement that addresses pilots’ reasonable issues, while preserving jobs and growth in the company and its Irish bases.”