Ryanair recognized the right to form unions last December, but their unwillingness to engage with their demands might result in delays for fliers. Carrier’s Irish pilots will be walking out on July 12th. Cabin crew unions in other countries promise to do the same on July 25th. If these strikes happened, they would be the first strikes in more than 30 years of Ryanair’s operation.
Irish Airline Pilots’ Association (Ialpa) and many of its 117 members will go on strike for 24 hours on the 12th of July. Their issues involve pilot representation, seniority, pay raises and more. However, the representatives of the airline have called any possible strikes “pointless.”
“Since Ireland accounts for less than 7 per cent of Ryanair flights, we expect that 93 per cent of our customers will be unaffected by any strike,” says a statement by the company. But Ialpa claims that many of its members are captains, senior flyers needed to pilot jets, and dealing with their strike will require Ryanair to either cancel flights or spend a fortune bringing in pilots from other bases to avoid delays and cancellations.
Meanwhile, the cabin crew unions in Spain, Portugal and Belgium will strike for two days between July 25 and 26. Italian crews will do the same for one day on the 25th. Ryanair has previously had some success in dealing with unions in Britain and Italy, but many others are still discontent, claiming that recognizing the existence of unions back in December didn’t lead to any bigger changes in the company.
The low-cost flyer was forced to recognize unions to avoid a strike that was planned to happen during the Christmas season in December, 2017. Company’s failure to set up rotas had resulted in 20,000 flights getting canceled last autumn, which gave the employees a better bargaining position.
“A number of strikes is increasing every year. Unfortunately, there is a possibility that passengers will face problems with delayed or cancelled flights. We think it’s time to take matters into our own hands and try and make the law traveler-friendly, rather than pro-airline. Right now the petition is available on a worldwide community petition platform Avaaz and can be signed by any traveler,” comments Marius Stonkus, the CEO of flight compensation company Skycop.
The aim of the petition is to make the lawmakers reconsider regulation EC 261/2004 and to expand the protection of passengers even further. You can sign it here. Skycop will deliver the petition to policy makers once a respectable amount of signatures is collected. If you have previously faced flight delays or cancellations, or if you have experienced denied boarding because of overbooking, you’ll be interested in signing the petition.