Ryanair pilots in Ireland vote to strike

Pilots employed directly by Ryanair in Ireland have voted overwhelmingly to strike – unless the airline agrees to union pay proposals by Monday 12 August.

Members of the Irish Airline Pilots’ Association (Ialpa) voted 94 per cent in favour of industrial action in a wide-ranging dispute over pay and working conditions.

Around 180 directly-employed Ryanair pilots based in Ireland, who are members of Ialpa, were eligible to vote in the ballot.

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But rather than calling a strike – for which at least one week’s notice must be given – the union said it would write to Ryanair’s management early next week to outline plans for action unless an agreement can be reached. Ialpa says it is seeking pay levels and structures that are in line with sector norms. It says the airline, which posted profits of €1bn (£930m) last year, is in a healthy financial position and can fairly reward its pilots.

Ialpa is part of the Fórsa union, whose assistant general secretary, Ian McDonnell, accused the company of using stalling tactics in negotiations.

“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 last year,” said Mr McDonnell.

“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.

“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.”

Ryanair pilots employed in the UK already have announced a strike on 22 and 23 August and from 2 to 4 September.

Were a strike by Irish pilots to go ahead, the main UK routes affected would be those connecting Dublin across the Irish sea.

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