Ryanair Union Calls for Talks Prior to Strike
The union representing Ryanair’s UK-based pilots has called on the airline to meet for conciliation talks prior to a 48-hour strike of UK and Ireland pilots next week.
Members of the BALPA UK pilot union and the Fórsa Irish union are due to strike from Thursday August 22, with Ryanair saying it has done everything it can to avoid disruptions during the period.
“We have done everything in our power to avoid disruption to our flights and our customers’ holidays,” the airline’s Chief People Officer Eddie Wilson said.
The Fórsa union representing Ryanair’s Ireland-based pilots added to the company's industrial relations problems when it withdrew from mediated talks in Dublin.
Ryanair said no progress had been made at the talks on the union’s “unrealistic and unimplementable pay proposals.”
“No company can concede to grossly unreasonable demands from its highest paid workers for a further pay increase of over 100 percent (when they already agreed and received a 20 percent pay increase earlier this year) at a time when the airline industry is in crisis,” Ryanair’s Wilson said.
Fórsa national secretary Angela Kirk said Ryanair pilots had told her they’d been forced into industrial action by the company’s failure to offer any significant response to their proposals over a four-month period.
Kirk said she regretted any disruption caused by the company’s “unwillingness or inability to negotiate a fair and transparent pay package, even at this late hour.”
Ryanair called on its pilots and Fórsa to return to independent mediation with reasonable proposals.
BALPA’s Brian Strutton said union members’ experience of trying to negotiate directly with Ryanair management has not been good. “However, BALPA is offering to hold talks under the auspices of (mediation service) ACAS to try to resolve this dispute and avoid the need for strike action. If Ryanair cares about its customers they should join us.”