Ryanair seeks court order to block Dutch pilots walkout

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Budget carrier Ryanair is seeking a court order in the Netherlands to prevent its pilots there joining a wave of strike action across Europe, a union said Wednesday.

"The Dutch Airline Pilots Association (VNV) is suprised but also furious about this attack on the Dutch labour rights," the union said in a statement.

"Nowhere else in Europe has Ryanair started this type of lawsuits in recent months. The VNV is also surprised because we didn't announce a strike of Ryanair pilots in the Netherlands."

A spokeswoman from the tribunal in Haarlem, near Amsterdam's Schiphol airport, told AFP the court would hear Ryanair's case on Thursday.

Ryanair's German pilots heaped pressure on the low-cost airline Wednesday by pledging to participate in a Europe-wide walkout, escalating a row over pay and conditions at the height of the summer tourist season.

Ryanair said it would have to axe around 400 out of 2,400 European flights scheduled for Friday, affecting some 55,000 passengers.

Germany will be worst hit with 250 flight cancellations.

Europe's second biggest airline has been grappling with staff unrest since it recognised trade unions for the first time in December 2017, in a bid to ward off widespread strikes over the Christmas period.

But unions say little progress has been made on their demands for better wages and fairer contracts despite months of talks.

© 2018 AFP

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