Friday 9 August 2019 3:56 pm

Ryanair’s Irish pilots overwhelmingly back strike action

Ryanair pilots in Ireland have voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action unless the budget airline agrees to trade union pay proposals by Monday.

94 per cent of members of the Irish Airline Pilots’ Association (Ialpa) who are directly employed by Ryanair voted in support of industrial action

Members of the trade union had previously staged a series of one-day strikes a year ago before the airline addressed concerns about transfers and promotions. 

Read more: Your guide to the airline strikes that could wreck your holidays

The Forsa union, which Ialpa is part of, said Ryanair had stalled on talks since the Ialpa submitted pay demands in March. 

Ian McDonnell, Forsa’s assistant general secretary, said the pilots “are simply seeking pay levels that are common and competitive in the commercial airline sector”.

“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,” McDonnell continued. 

“At this stage, 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 hit back at the trade union, saying in a statement that it was “disappointed” by Forsa  “threatening to disrupt customers’ travel plans”.

“This Forsa threat of industrial action has no mandate from Ryanair pilots, and is ill-timed just 10 weeks before a hard Brexit, while Ryanair is in the process of letting excess pilots go due to the Boeing MAX delivery delays,” it added.

“Forsa should continue in mediation and avoid threatening unnecessary disruptions to customers holidays and travel plans.”

The union is required to give at least one week’s notice ahead of any strikes.