Published: Sat, July 14, 2018
Economy | By

Ryanair Irish pilots vote to strike for the first time

Ryanair Irish pilots vote to strike for the first time

Tuesday's Irish vote, in a dispute about issues including Ryanair's approach to transferring pilots between its European bases, marks the first time pilots in the airline's home market have voted to strike since it agreed to recognize the union a year ago - a major departure for the company given O'Leary once said "hell would freeze over" before that happened.

Despite the strike action, Ryanair said it still flew 12.6 million passengers in June, a rise of 7 per cent.

Ryanair crew have warned that they too could be joining their colleagues in strike action next week after after presenting the company's CEO Michael O'Leary with a list of demands.

IALPA's statement was posted to its Twitter account, saying it would inform Ryanair of any future strike action "in due course".

If the strike goes ahead, it will impact Ryanair flights out of Dublin, one of Ireland's busiest hub airports.

The union said its members felt there was no transparent system to address matters such as transfers between the airline's European and African bases, which can have a "devastating effect on family life".

Cabin crew from across Europe could follow suit at some stage.

After negotiations with the airline broke down, the Ialpa Union said that a landslide 99% of their members had supported the industrial action in a ballot.

The carrier said more than 1,100 flights were cancelled for the second month running due to air traffic control strikes over four weekends in June, as well as staff shortages in the UK, Germany and France.

The airline has said it hoped to sign more recognition deals with pilots and cabin crew unions "over the coming weeks and months".

"We would also ask that Ryanair keep customers up to date with any planned cancellations as soon as possible to ease the uncertainty faced by intending travellers and allow for alternative holiday arrangements to be made".

Covering areas like pay, rostering, contracts and sickness, the eight-point charter includes some demands that would be taken for granted by many cabin crew at other airlines.

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