Hopes grow that Ryanair pilots’ strike can be avoided

Union ‘considering’ invitation to meet airline to discuss proposals on seniority

Hopes have grown that a Ryanair pilots' strike can be avoided after their union confirmed it was "considering" an airline invitation to meet.

The news came as it emerged that the British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) had submitted a pay claim to Ryanair, piling extra industrial relations pressure on the Irish airline.

Members of the Irish Airline Pilots’ Association – part of trade union Fórsa – plan a one-day strike on Thursday, July 12th, in a row over seniority, which could disrupt the travel plans of thousands of people due to fly from the Republic’s airports.

A Fórsa spokesman confirmed the union yesterday received a letter from Ryanair asking it to call off the strike and meet to discuss proposals on seniority. “Senior officials in the union are considering it,” he said.

Pay claim

Meanwhile, a BALPA spokeswoman confirmed that the union had submitted a pay claim to Ryanair and was awaiting a response.

The union represents 600 pilots in Britain, one of Ryanair’s biggest markets, and was the first to sign a deal with the airline giving it collective bargaining rights for those staff.

Meanwhile, Ryanair cabin crew, backed by the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), published a charter of demands following a meeting at Fórsa’s Dublin office. They want a living wage, stable rosters, sick pay, and an end to agency employment.

Oliver Richardson, ITF aviation representative, said it was up to individual unions in each country to act if the demands were not met. "It's their call to take strike action," he pointed out.

Ryanair said that cabin crew were paid €40,000 a year and had rosters that exceeded all safety standards.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas