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Ryanair pilots to strike before Christmas

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Some Dublin-based Ryanair pilots are to strike before Christmas in a dispute about union recognition and better conditions. The 79 pilots, who are directly employed by Ryanair, will walk out for one day on 20 December.It involves mostly captains who are members of the Irish Air Line Pilots’ Association (IALPA). Ryanair, which does not recognise trade unions, said they represented less than 28% of its Dublin pilots.It has warned them that they will lose favourable rosters and remuneration benefits if the action goes ahead.In a statement, the carrier said: “Ryanair is surprised that IALPA has threatened to disrupt Christmas week travel when IALPA’s own numbers confirm that it has the support of less than 28% of Ryanair’s over 300 Dublin pilots and when Ryanair’s Belfast, Cork and Shannon bases have already agreed these 20% pay deals.”While some disruption may occur, Ryanair believes this will largely be confined to a small group of pilots who are working their notice and will shortly leave Ryanair, so they don’t care how much upset they cause colleagues or customers.”IALPA is a branch of the Irish umbrella trade union, IMPACT, which is predicting either flight disruptions or substantial costs to the airline.The German pilots’ union, Vereinigung Cockpit, has also threatened strike action against the Irish carrier as it also pushes for a collective labour agreement. Ryanair rejects union representation saying it prefers to negotiate with staff directly. The budget airline suffered a difficult period earlier this year when it cancelled flights between September and March after mismanaging pilots’ annual leave, affecting around 700,000 passengers.
Source: BBC News

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