German pilots join Ryanair industrial action

(FILE) A file picture dated 10 May 2007 shows a Ryanair planes at Dublin airport. January 2015 ANDY RAIN

German pilots join Ryanair industrial action


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Ryanair is facing an escalation of industrial action as German pilots have joined a Europe-wide strike.

The Irish low-cost carrier is facing cabin crews strike action in Portugal, Belgium, Italy and Spain. It is also facing strike action by Irish pilots. More than 600 Ryanair flights have been cancelled over the last few weeks, eating into 20% of Ryanair’s quarterly profits.

The German pilots neared consensus on strike action (96%), demanding transparency over pay and working conditions.

Negotiations with Ryanair reached a dead end on Friday. The German pilot union (VC) will take action unless Ryanair responds to their demands by Monday, August 6; VC have a press conference scheduled for Wednesday, August 8.

Only about a quarter of Ryanair’s Irish pilots are directly employed by the airline; in Germany, pilots flying for the Irish carrier are directly employed by the company. A strike in Germany would be more disruptive.

The Irish pilot union (Fórsa) have accused Ryanair of failing to negotiate with pilots, choosing instead to “brief them” as to the extent of job cuts as a result of their strike action. Ryanair says they have met nine out of the Irish union’s 11 requests.

Ryanair is notorious for its hardline negotiating attitude against unions; the Irish carrier was forced to recognize unions in December 2017.

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