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Ryanair pilot strike to go ahead

Pilots vote to strike in Ireland, and other European countries – including Sweden – could follow.

Irish-based Ryanair pilots have voted overwhelmingly for a one-day strike on July 12, which would impact thousands of travellers in a dispute that could spread to some of the airline’s other European bases.

It comes at a time that could hit holidaymakers flying to and from Ireland during the peak summer season, with 94 of 95 members of the Irish Airline Pilots’ Association voting in favour.

Ryanair pilots in Germany are also voting on whether to strike, in a vote that runs until the end of July, following what the union VC calls the failure of talks on improved pay and conditions.

Trade union sources suggested this week that pilots in other countries – including Sweden as well as the Netherlands – could follow with their own strike votes.

Seniority agreement
Pilots in Ireland want a seniority agreement with Ryanair covering base transfers, promotion, annual leave and any other issue governed by length of service, the Irish Times reports.

Ryanair says the strike is unnecessary, saying it gave the association proposals covering most of these points but has not even received a reply. However, each side says it is willing to engage with the other.

It says it is “disappointed by this strike notice which is unnecessary, given that it has already forwarded to [association parent body] FORSA draft proposals”.

The airline adds that it “has invited FORSA to meet to discuss these proposals on 18 separate occasions, but FORSA have failed to reply or take up any of these invitations to meet”.

Since Ireland accounts for less than 7% of Ryanair flights, the carrier concludes that it expects that “93% of our customers will be unaffected by any Irish pilot strike next Thursday”.

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