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Irish Ryanair pilots set to strike

Ryanair planes

Ryanair’s pilots in the Republic of Ireland have voted to go on strike for 24 hours from 0100 on 12 July, with knock-on effects expected across the airline’s network.

Pilots who are members of the Irish Airline Pilots’ Association (IALPA) – a branch of the Forsa trade union – are in a dispute with Ryanair over its approach to transferring pilots between its European and African bases.

If the strike goes ahead, it will impact Ryanair flights out of Dublin, one of Ireland’s busiest hub airports.

Ryanair made the decision to recognise pilots' unions in December 2017 after pilots threatened Christmas strikes over pay.

IALPA claims Ryanair responded to its request to talk about the issue with a threat to move Dublin-based aircraft and pilots to other airports and “cut promotion opportunities”.

The union says its members have had no clarification on matters such as the “voluntary/involuntary base transfer/allocation, command upgrade, allocation of annual leave and promotion”. It claims pilots have been handed mandatory base transfers and have been denied requests for change, which has “a devastating effect on family life”.

IALPA’s statement was posted to its Twitter account, saying it would inform Ryanair of any future strike action “in due course”.

It is seeking a “seniority agreement” that sets out a “mechanism” for determining base transfers, promotions and annual leave allocation that takes a pilot’s length of service and seniority into account.

Ryanair claims it has invited Forsa and IALPA to meet “on 18 separate occasions” to discuss why pilots find the agreement unfavourable, with ‘no reply’. It has sent a letter to the union with an invitation to meet on 11 July to try to avoid the strike action.

The airline says it will contact any affected passengers if strike action goes ahead, but it predicts that “93 per cent of... customers will be unaffected”.

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