Further strike action at Ryanair can only be avoided if management at the airline engage in meaningful negotiations, rather that issuing threats to its staff, the trade union Fórsa has said.
Ryanair has cancelled 20 of its 300 planned flights to and from Ireland next Friday, August 3rd – about 7 per cent of the total – when pilots represented by Fórsa plan to stage another one-day stoppage.
The union has insisted that its negotiating team in talks with Ryanair is made up solely of Ryanair pilots – elected by their peers in the company– and full-time Fórsa officials with no links to any airline or any other employer.
On Friday, Ryanair called on the union to remove the president of the Irish Airline Pilots’ Association (IALPA) Captain Evan Cullen from involvement in the negotiations between the union, the airline and its pilots.
IALPA is a branch of the Fórsa trade union. Captain Cullen is also a pilot with Aer Lingus.
Ryanair contended that Aer Lingus has benefited from the current industrial action. Ryanair said it had experienced a downturn in forward bookings in Ireland because of the dispute.
Fórsa acknowledged Ryanair’s request that no pilot from another airline be involved in negotiations. “Fórsa has accepted this, as we frequently do in similar negotiation situations with other companies,” the union said on Friday.
“Ryanair’s claim of Aer Lingus ‘interference’ in the negotiations is an attempt to divert public attention from the fact that the company has failed to respond to Fórsa’s offer to attend negotiations - which was issued a week ago (on Friday July 20th) – and the company’s declaration last Wednesday (July 25th) that it will not consider a date for negotiations for at least another week.”
Fórsa said future industrial action could only be avoided if company management engaged in meaningful negotiations, rather that issuing threats to its staff.
The union argued that independent third-party facilitation could help the parties to resolve the significant differences that remain between them.
Ryanair said it “respectfully” disagreed with Fórsa’s denial that Aer Lingus pilots were involved in the industrial dispute at Ryanair.