January 20, 2018

Ryanair Pilots In Germany Announce Pre-Christmas Strikes

22 December 2017, 01:14 | Frank Carlson

German union calls for Friday Ryanair strike

Ryanair hails 'successful' first union talks

Ryanair Holdings faces its first-ever pilot strike on the Friday before Christmas as a German union it has promised to recognize makes a show of force following a breakdown in initial negotiations.

Vereinigung Cockpit (VC), a German pilot trade union which represents a number of Ryanair pilots in the country, said the "warning strike" will affect all flights operated out of German airports during that four-hour period.

"All pilots directly employed by Ryanair will be called to strike", it said.

IMPACT told Ryanair the threat of strike action remained if it didn't put its union recognition in writing, quickly.

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

Bellew described the action as a "bolt from the blue" after good dialogue with the union at a meeting on Wednesday and said he would consider working with other unions instead of VC.

Ingolf Schumacher, head of VC's industrial department, said: "Ryanair's public offer to conduct negotiations with VC can only be classified as a further publicity stunt".

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Ryanair said it had written to pilots asking them to work as normal to avoid disrupting the travel plans of thousands of German passengers.

"In the history of the VC, there has not been a case in which the collective bargaining autonomy has been trampled on by an employer as it is now with Ryanair".

IMPACT Assistant General Secretary Ashley Connolly confirmed the receipt of correspondence that "accepts and recognises the union for collective bargaining purposes". The Irish airline took the historic decision to recognise unions and the strikes were cancelled.

Ryanair said separately that it had formally recognized Impact while also submitting proposals on issues including pay and dispute resolution.

IMPACT has accepted an invitation from Ryanair management to meet on 3 January "to agree a comprehensive recognition agreement that will establish collective bargaining procedures in the airline".

Last week, Ryanair broke from its long-standing policy of refusing to recognise unions.

Earlier on Thursday, the VC had sent a memo to its Ryanair pilots telling them to stay alert for a possible "call-for-strike" message on their phones later in the day.

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