Ryanair pilots plan pre-Christmas strike
Ryanair pilots based in Portugal and Germany are planning to join colleagues from Dublin and Italy in a Christmas strike to win union recognition and better working conditions.
The airline does not recognise unions, with a spokesman stating last week that staff rarely follow calls to strike and that management will ignore industrial action planned for December 20th, at the height of the busy Christmas period.
Unions say that Ryanair’s management refuse to match pay and conditions found in other ‘low cost’ airlines.
The Irish union stated that, “Ryanair will deal with any such disruptions if, or when they arise, and we apologise sincerely to customers for any upset or worry this threatened action may cause,” adding that the Irish disruption is being threatened by pilots who already have handed in their notice and are determined to cause as much disruption as possible before they move job.
Ryanair is still trying to cope with the fall-out after it cancelled 2,000 autumn flights and 18,000 winter-time flights in a ‘pilots’ holiday roster’ blunder that has affected upwards of 700,000 potential and booked passengers.
One effect of this expensive error was to convince many more Ryanair pilots to join a union but the airline is determined to avoid engaging with any form of union negotiation, deciding to threaten loss of benefits and career progression for pilots who have the temerity to go on strike.
The airline refuses to recognise the European Employee Representative Council which aims to represent Ryanair bases across Europe.
Many Ryanair pilots want to negotiate through this Council which represents staff at the carrier’s 87 bases. The airline’s management prefer to agree terms and conditions with staff and pilots at their bases of operation.
Travellers heading for the sunny climes of Portugal and other popular winter destinations, may lose their money if their accommodation was booked directly with a supplier, rather than booked part of a package.
If flights are cancelled, EU regulations state that the airline must offer thwarted passengers a full refund, or swiftly re-route them to their destination. Flights should be able to be rebooked at no extra cost – something Ryanair got into trouble over in the recent disruption as it decided to recharge customers for their baggage.
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