Ryanair calls for fresh talks ahead of fourth day of pilot strikes

Pilots in Sweden and Belgium are the latest to announce strike action

Ryanair calls for fresh talks ahead of fourth day of pilot strikes

Photo. Mark Stedman/RollingNews.ie

Ryanair has confirmed it has received strike notice from pilots based in Belgium and Sweden for August 10th.

It said there could also be "possible strike actions" in Germany and the Netherlands on the same date.

The carrier has called on representatives of the Fórsa trade union to meet with it following the next planned strike by Dublin-based pilots.

Around 25% of the airline's Irish pilots will strike for the fourth time this Friday, amid a continuing dispute over issues like seniority and base transfers.

The airline said it has already agreed to all but two of the union's demands, adding that it is "ready to talk when they are."

The airline called for a "genuine effort to resolve this dispute without any further interference by Captain Evan Cullen or other Aer Lingus."

Fórsa has already rejected Ryanair’s claim that Aer Lingus pilots are interfering in the dispute.

Captain Cullen is the president of the Irish Airline Pilots Association (IALPA) – which is a branch of Fórsa.

The union said its negotiating team for the Ryanair talks is "made up solely of Ryanair pilots – elected by their peers in the company – and full-time Fórsa officials with no links to any airline or any other employer."

The previous three strike days have all led to the cancellation of a number of services between the UK and Ireland.

Swedish pilots

Meanwhile, Ryanair pilots in Sweden have become the latest to announce strike action against the airline.

Some 80% of pilots based in the Scandinavian country will strike on August 10th.

The Swedish Airline Pilots Association (SweALPA) said it called the action because the airline had consistently refused to meet with its representatives without preconditions.

It said it has been trying to begin negotiations with the airline on the collective agreement of employee conditions "for months."

The union said Ryanair is refusing to negotiate with the union because it includes members who work for other airlines.

SweALPA chairman Martin Lindgren said Ryanair is essentially trying to choose the union’s negotiating team – and warned that this is “totally unacceptable for a union.”

The union noted that ever since Ryanair announced that it would recognise trade unions, it has not signed a collective agreement anywhere in Europe.

It said the airline’s hostile attitude to unions “has appeared on several occasions” – notably in its plans to reduce the number of pilots and cabin crew staff in Ireland over the winter period in the wake of strikes here.

Europe strike action

On Tuesday, Ryanair pilots in the Netherlands voted by almost 96% to back strike action.

The airline's German pilots on Monday voted for industrial action by the same margin.

Ryanair was also forced to cancel 600 flights last week as a result of cabin crew strikes in Spain, Italy, Portugal and Belgium. 

Additional reporting from Stephen McNeice and Jack Quann