Ryanair proposes 3rd party mediation in pilot strikes row

- AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, LONDON

Aug 5, 2018-

Ryanair proposed on Friday third-party mediation as its Irish pilots walked out for a fourth day, while Spain-based pilots vowed to sue Europe’s biggest no-frills airline over contract “irregularities”.

The Irish carrier scrapped 24 flights out of 300 to and from Ireland on Friday in response to the strikes, affecting 3,500 passengers, all of whom have been rescheduled or refunded, the company said.

A fifth day of wider industrial action is planned next week and two meetings with the Irish public service trade union Forsa have failed to resolve all the differences.

“Ryanair now feels the only way to introduce common sense is by way of third party mediation,” its chief people officer Eddie Wilson said in a statement. The Irish pilots, who took three days of industrial action last month, are demanding better working conditions.

However, the dispute has escalated since Ryanair announced plans last week to move planes from Dublin to Poland, which could cost 300 jobs, including 100 pilots.

On Thursday, pilots warned there would be a fifth day of strikes on August 10, when the airline’s Belgian and Swedish pilots will also walk out.

Pilots in Germany and the Netherlands are considering joining in. Unrest surfaced at Ryanair following a planning mix-up in September 2017 which led to 20,000 flights being cancelled.

The crisis led to a U-turn at the airline, which started negotiations with trade unions in several countries.

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary waived his hefty yearly bonus, according to the airline’s annual report out Monday.

Ryanair condemned the planned fifth day of strikes. “This fifth strike notice by Forsa is irresponsible, unwarranted and is disrupting customers and (a way of damaging) Ryanair’s business,” Ryanair’s chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said in a statement.

Published: 05-08-2018 08:46

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