Ryanair pilots across Europe plan co-ordinated strike action

Unions in four countries plan stoppages for next week as industrial action escalates

Speaking at a press conference in Vienna Ryanair's chief executive Michael O'Leary has said that staff are striking "for the sake of striking". Video: Reuters


Ryanair faces “co-ordinated” pilot strikes in Europe next week to add to further industrial action in Ireland on Friday, the airline has said.

The company’s statement on Wednesday came as it emerged that pilots in Britain, one of its biggest markets, have taken a key step towards industrial action.

Ryanair said it had received notice of strikes on Friday August 10th by pilot unions in Belgium and Sweden.

“We have also been notified of possible strike action by pilot unions in Germany and the Netherlands which will, we believe, be co-ordinated and occur on Friday August 10th,” the airline added.

The British Airline Pilots’ Association (Balpa) has served a “failure to agree” notice on the airline, the first of several steps that could end in industrial action.

Balpa represents pilots in a country where Ryanair flew more than 30 million passengers last year. It has submitted a claim on pay, contracts and seniority to the airline.

Collective labour agreement

Ryanair will meet Balpa on Thursday for talks on a collective labour agreement. The airline confirmed that it has also invited unions in Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands and Sweden to meet to discuss similar deals.

“In the interim, we have requested these pilot unions to give us seven days’ notice of any planned strike action so that we can notify our customers of cancelled flights in advance and offer them alternative flights or refunds,” Ryanair said.

Ryanair has issued a second invitation to the Irish Airline Pilots’ Association (Ialpa) – part of trade union Fórsa – to meet following the union’s fourth strike on Friday.

Ialpa-Fórsa said it remained available to meet on neutral ground. Its members are in dispute with Ryanair over base transfers, promotions and leave.

The union’s national secretary, Angela Kirk, warned Ryanair’s chief people officer, Eddie Wilson, that the airline’s proposal to cut its Dublin Airport fleet from October with the possible loss of 100 jobs had pushed the sides further away from resolution.