Ryanair pilots plan series of strikes in row over seniority

One-day stoppage likely to go ahead on Thursday

Ryanair will update affected passengers on Tuesday. Photograph: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie

Ryanair will update affected passengers on Tuesday. Photograph: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie

 

A letter from the Irish Airline Pilots’ Association (Ialpa) to Dublin Airport police confirms that the trade union plans a series of strikes at Ryanair in coming weeks if a dispute with the airline is not resolved.

In what will be the first strike by Irish pilots at the airline, members of Ialpa – part of trade union Fórsa – who are employed by Ryanair, plan a one-day stoppage this Thursday in a row over seniority.

A letter written by Ialpa president, captain Evan Cullen, to Dublin Airport police says the union contemplates “a series of one or two-day strikes during the months July and August”.

The letter, written on June 25th while the vote was under way, confirms that members employed by Ryanair are balloting for industrial action up to and including strike in accordance with the terms of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990.

A spokesman for Fórsa said the union wrote to the airport police as a courtesy, and added there was no obligation on it to do so

The letter adds that in the event of the ballot meeting the standards of the legislation, Ialpa members intend to picket at Dublin Airport.

Ryanair chief people officer, Eddie Wilson, wrote to Fórsa national secretary Angela Kirk yesterday arguing that the letter to the airport police indicated that a “small number of our pilots led by Aer Lingus pilots” were bidding to disrupt the airline’s services in July and August.

Picket

A spokesman for Fórsa said the union wrote to the airport police as a courtesy, and added there was no obligation on it to do so.

Industrial relations law allows strikers to picket their employers’ premises or their place of business. Ryanair’s head office is in Swords, but the pilots are based at Dublin Airport.

The pilots are threatening to strike over seniority. Ialpa-Fórsa wants a transparent system for managing problems such as base transfers, annual leave allocation and other decisions tied to length of service.

Ryanair maintains it has already made proposals to the union dealing with these issues and has provided Ialpa-Fórsa with a seniority list of Irish pilots.

Both sides yesterday appeared ready to agree to meet on Wednesday but a union statement indicated that the strike was likely to go ahead. Ryanair will update affected passengers on Tuesday.