Ryanair pilots in Ireland announced a one-day strike just days before Christmas, as the employees are willing to win collective representation in pay instead of further agreeing terms separately at each of the Ryanair’s 87 bases. According to the trade union IMPACT, several trade unions across Europe are planning strikes in connection with the demand for negotiations on the conclusion of collective labour contracts.
79 out of 84 voters in Dublin, who were directly employed by Ryanair, said yes in favour of strike that is expected to affect travellers. Reacting to the situation, the Irish pilot union IALPA had a meeting to decide the further action.
Ryanair, on the other hand, said that they have not been informed about potential strikes in Dublin, thus according to the company, this might just be a “PR stunt” by IALPA. In addition, the company has announced a 20 % rise in pay deals. Striking pilots have been warned about breaching their agreements, losing their benefits and chances of promotion.
Ryanair is the only Irish-based airline that refuses to recognise unions and negotiates with the staff only through representative staff committees (Employee Representative Councils, ERC) – small groups representing individual airports.
“EU air passenger law protects all travellers from cancellations, overbookings and long delays with up to €600 flight compensations. However, the regulation is far from ideal. Airlines’ employees’ initiated strike is a sign of a poor management thus should fully come under the carriers’ responsibility rather than left for the passengers to deal with. With airline strikes paralysing European airports ever so often, we are planning to start a campaign in favour to the air passenger law amendments so that in future travellers which flights are afflicted due to such strikes would be compensated,” said Marius Stonkus, the CEO of flight compensation company SKYCOP.
Strike in Ireland is expected to spread to Italy and Portugal this month. Flight disruptions just before Christmas comes just few months after Ryanair annulled about 20 thousand flights of its flights until the end of March. The carrier was forced to issue cancellations, as pilots and other employees refused to go to work without leave after the overloaded summer period.