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Ryanair’s pilots in Ireland vote for industrial action

Ryanair’s pilots in Ireland have voted in favour of industrial action in their pay dispute.

Trade union Forsa said the action was backed by 94% of the 180 directly-employed pilots eligible to vote.

Members staged a series of one-day strikes a year ago before the airline settled concerns about transfers and promotions.

But the union said talks had stalled since it submitted pay demands late in March.

Forsa said it would write to Ryanair’s management team early next week to outline what it plans to do if pay demands are not met.


Forsa assistant general secretary Ian McDonnell said industrial action could be avoided if management at the airline engaged professionally and constructively in talks.

He added: “Ryanair’s directly-employed Irish-based pilots are simply seeking pay levels that are common and competitive in the commercial airline sector, from a company that made a more-than-healthy profit of €1bn (£930m) last year.

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“They feel they have been forced into contemplating potentially disruptive industrial action by a company that seems either unwilling or unable to negotiate in a professional and constructive manner.

“At this stage, only a substantive counter-proposal, which properly addresses all areas of our claim, will be enough to prevent us serving notice of industrial action next week,” he said.

The union is only required to give a week’s notice of any strike.

Ryanair to cut hundreds of jobs because it has ‘more staff than needed’

Ryanair said: “The pay deals already agreed with Forsa have deliver pay increases of up to 20% at a time when Ryanair profits are falling due to higher fuel and payroll costs, with senior captains now earning over €200,000 per annum for working five days on, followed by four days off.

“This Forsa threat of industrial action has no mandate from Ryanair pilots, and is ill-timed just 10 weeks before a hard Brexit, while Ryanair is in the process of letting excess pilots go due to the Boeing MAX delivery delays.”

The airline recently admitted a series of headwinds facing its business, including higher fuel bills at a time of greater economic uncertainty.

Profits have been squeezed by falling fares – a result of stiff competition.

It follows news that UK pilots employed by Ryanair are planning a series of strikes as part of a row over pay.

Pilots’ union Balpa said the first stoppage will last 48 hours, from Thursday 22 August until Friday 23 August.

The second covers three days, from Monday 2 September until Wednesday 4 September.

As pilots in the UK and Ireland voted in their strike ballot, it also emerged last week that Ryanair was planning to cut 900 jobs because it is over-staffed.


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