Ryanair 'disappointed' with pilot's union vote for industrial action

Ryanair 'disappointed' with pilot's union vote for industrial action

Update: Ryanair says it is disappointed that 180 Irish-based pilots have voted to go on strike.

Members of the Irish Airline Pilots Association-backed industrial action by 94%.

The group says it will write to management early next week to outline plans for action unless Ryanair agrees to union pay proposals by next Monday.

The head of communications with the Fórsa trade union, representing Ryanair’s Irish pilots, has said that the airline has until Monday to respond to the union’s threat of industrial action.

However, the airline responded by saying that Fórsa isn't representative of their Irish workforce

"Ryanair is disappointed that the pilots union Fórsa is threatening to disrupt customers’ travel plans during August when its ballot has the support of less than 25% of Ryanair’s Irish pilots," a statement from the airline read.

"The result of Fórsa’s ballot shows that less than half of Ryanair’s Irish pilots are members of Fórsa, and less than 60% of these Fórsa members participated in the ballot with less than 25% of Ryanair’s Irish pilots voting for industrial action," it added.

The UK strikes will be held from 00.01am on August 22 until 11.59pm on August 23 and from 00.01am on September 2 until 11.59pm on September 4.

Fórsa represents 180 Irish based Ryanair pilots, but Bernard Harbor, head of communications with the union said that pilots who are hired by the airline through agencies or via freelance self-employed contracts, are not represented by a union and as such cannot be balloted on industrial action.

Earlier: Ryanair pilots in Ireland vote for industrial action

Ryanair pilots based in Ireland have voted in favour of taking industrial action.

Members of the Irish Airline Pilots Association-backed industrial action by 94%.

It says it will write to management early next week to outline plans for action unless Ryanair agrees to union pay proposals by next Monday.

It comes after the airline's CEO Michael O'Leary told staff about plans for up to 900 job cuts.

It could result in thousands of people having their flights cancelled.

British pilots had already voted to strike.

The UK strikes will be held from 00.01am on August 22 until 11.59pm on August 23 and from 00.01am on September 2 until 11.59pm on September 4.

It is not yet known when the Irish pilots will strike.

The head of communications with the Fórsa trade union, representing Ryanair’s Irish pilots, has said that the airline has until Monday to respond to the union’s threat of industrial action.

Bernard Harbor told RTÉ radio’s News at One said that the size of the mandate highlights to extent of the frustration of pilots.

Fórsa represents 180 Irish based Ryanair pilots, but he pointed out that pilots who are hired by the airline through agencies or via freelance self-employed contracts, are not represented by a union and as such cannot be balloted on industrial action.

The airline has until Monday to come up with a counter-proposal to the union’s demand for pay levels comparable to sector norms throughout the rest of Europe, he said.

We’ve said that unless we get a counter-proposal there will be industrial action.

The precise timing and form of that industrial action has yet to be decided, but he thought it likely to be a strike.

Talks on pay have been ongoing for months, he said, with no resolution so the pilots had felt that had been “forced” into industrial action.

“This is a situation we don’t have to be in. This is bad news for passengers, for the economy and for staff.”

The pay claim is quite complex, he acknowledged, but pilots just wanted pay levels similar to pilots in other airlines.

- Additional reporting by Vivienne Clarke

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