Strike by Ryanair pilots set to go ahead on Thursday

Industrial action likely to proceed despite planned meeting, union says

Ryanair wrote to Ialpa on Monday agreeing to meet in a neutral venue, breaking a deadlock over where talks should take place. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

Ryanair wrote to Ialpa on Monday agreeing to meet in a neutral venue, breaking a deadlock over where talks should take place. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

 

A pilots’ strike at Ryanair is likely to go ahead on Thursday even though both sides are set to meet tomorrow.

Members of the Irish Airline Pilots’ Association (Ialpa) in Ryanair plan to strike in a dispute over seniority, possibly disrupting holidaymakers at the Republic’s airports.

A trade union statement yesterday said the industrial action was likely to go ahead even though Ialpa has accepted Ryanair’s invitation to meet the company tomorrow.

Passengers due to fly with Ryanair on Thursday are due to learn today what contingency plans the airline may have in place.

The company promised to contact affected customers by text and email today when the pilots’ union served strike notice last week.

Ryanair wrote to Ialpa – part of trade union Fórsa – yesterday agreeing to meet in a neutral venue, breaking a deadlock over where talks should take place.

Pilots wanted to meet on neutral ground, while the airline favoured negotiating at its head office in Swords, Co Dublin.

The airline’s chief people officer, Eddie Wilson, wrote to Fórsa national secretary Angela Kirk saying the airline would meet pilots’ representatives in Dublin Airport.

The union later accepted the airline’s invitation to meet in the Seán Lemass Room in Terminal One in Dublin Airport tomorrow morning.

Pilots want a seniority agreement with the airline, along with a transparent system for dealing with issues such as base allocation, annual leave and other matters tied to length of service.

Ryanair maintains it has already sent proposals dealing with these issues to Ialpa. The union said it remained determined to work towards resolving the dispute.