Ryanair pilots in Germany announce strike action

Alicia Cross
December 22, 2017

A German union has called on Ryanair pilots to walk off the job Friday morning, accusing the airline of staging a "publicity stunt" when offering to hold negotiations on pay and working conditions.

The German pilots' association Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) said talks ended today without successful results.

The union said Ryanair representatives had refused to engage with two of VC's representatives at the talks.

"We advise all customers in Germany to turn up as normal tomorrow, as we plan to operate all scheduled flights", a Ryanair spokesman said in an email. "We will be doing our utmost to minimise any disruptions to the Christmas travel plans of our German customers".

"We see the breakdown of talks before they had even started as further evidence that Ryanair needs to build the organizational infrastructure, capability and mindset to deal with union negotiations that can not be broken by ultimatums", they wrote in a note. "We hope to be able to say something with more substance before too long".

"This has shown us that nothing has changed with Ryanair's management style or how it handles workers' rights", VC President Ilja Schulz told reporters, sitting behind a table bearing the slogan "No landing clearance for Irish social dumping".

Mr Connolly said the breakthrough was made possible by the resolve of Ryanair pilots.

It said: "This refusal clearly shows that the principles of trade union autonomy are disregarded by Ryanair and that the company does not truly desire to enter into constructive negotiations".

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Impact said the move - recognising the union for collective bargaining issues, with immediate effect - means the threat of a strike has receded.

Update 5.45pm: Ryanair sincerely regrets receiving notice of a threatened four-hour pilot strike in Germany tomorrow.

"Impact will now immediately start work to make union recognition in Ryanair a practical reality", it said in a statement, adding that the possibility of industrial action has "receded for the present".

"Ryanair has also submitted a set of proposals on pay and conditions, procedures and dispute resolution for its Irish-based pilots, and looks forward to concluding an early agreement on these issues with its Irish Ryanair pilot company council".

Update 12.04am: Ryanair has written to IMPACT setting out its plans to recognise the pilots'union. The bargaining power of employees was boosted in recent months after a rostering mixup led 20,000 flights to be scrapped.

Union representatives and pilots met with airline management for the first time on Tuesday in a dramatic shift of its policy not to deal with unions.

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary has said the decision to recognise unions was his idea.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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