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UK Ryanair pilots set strike dates

Christian Fernsby |
The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) has set strike dates for UK-based Ryanair pilots following an industrial action ballot.

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The ballot saw 80% vote in favour of strike action on a 72% turnout.

ALPA members in Ryanair will be asked to take strike action as follows:

From 0001 on 22nd August until 2359 on 23rd August

And

From 0001 on 2nd September until 2359 on 4th September.

Brian Strutton, BALPA General Secretary, said “We have had no formal offer from Ryanair and it is imperative that we resolve this dispute urgently to avoid strike action. No pilot wants to spoil the public’s travel plans but at the moment it seems we have no choice.”

" We are disappointed that the pilots union BALPA, is threatening to disrupt our customers travel plans during late August, early September, when it has the support of less than 30% of Ryanair’s UK pilots, , the airline said in a statement.

"The independent result of BALPA’s ballot shows that less than 50% of Ryanair’s UK pilots are members of BALPA, and of these, just 57% voted in favour of industrial action. This is less than 30% of Ryanair’s UK pilots.

"It is notable that over 70% of Ryanair’s UK pilots are either not members of BALPA, or did not vote in BALPA’s ballot, or voted against industrial action. BALPA have no mandate to disrupt our customers holidays and flights, particularly at a time when UK pilots are facing job losses due to the Boeing MAX delivery delays, and the threat of a no deal Brexit on 31 Oct.

"Last year, Ryanair’s UK pilots agreed a 20% salary increase, with Senior Captain’s earning up to £180,000 p.a., which is more than competitor airline pilots in Norwegian or Jet2. BALPA is recommending a pay freeze for Jet2 pilots in return for improved rosters (which Ryanair pilots already enjoy), and/or 12 months unpaid leave for Norwegian’s Gatwick pilots.

"This BALPA industrial action has no mandate from Ryanair pilots, is ill-timed just 10 weeks before Brexit, and will cause unnecessary disruption to customers holidays and travel plans.

"We have written to BALPA asking them to return to talks, and we apologise sincerely to customers for any uncertainty that BALPA’s ballot may cause them. We hope BALPA will now work with Ryanair to minimise job losses instead of undertaking ill-judged and ill-timed industrial action."


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