Worry for Travellers as Ryanair Announce this Summer’s Strikes

Pilots of budget airline Ryanair have voted to embark on industrial action in a row over pa once more.

The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) set strike dates on Wednesday, following a ballot for UK-based Ryanair pilots, which will affect passengers travelling in the run-up to the August Bank Holiday weekend and early September.

Two walkouts will take place, one from 22-23 August and the next from 2-4 September.

But why are they striking?

In a statement Balpa said: “Decades of Ryanair refusing to deal with unions has resulted in two things.

“Firstly, a management that apparently doesn’t understand how to work with unions, and secondly a company that doesn’t have a number of standard agreements that any union would reasonably expect in any workplace.”

Discussions with Ryanair management over pensions, loss of licence insurance, maternity benefits, allowances and “a fair, transparent, and consistent pay structure” had made no progress, said Balpa.

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.”

Ryanair said that less than 50 per cent of Ryanair’s UK pilots are members of Balpa and of these 57 per cent voted in favour of industrial action, which meant less than 30 per cent of its pilots had backed the action.

An airline spokesman said: “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.

“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.”

The airline added last year its UK pilots agreed a 20 per cent salary increase, with senior captains earning up to £180,000 p.a.

Apologising to customers for the “uncertainty” this would cause, Ryanair said it was urging Balpa to return to talks.

Flights will be affected from 00:01 on 22 August to 23:59 on 23 August, the Thursday and Friday before the Bank Holiday, and from 00:01 on 2 September to 23:59 on 4 September.

If your flight is cancelled, you usually have a legal right to either a full refund within seven days or a replacement flight. Ryanair are assuring that anyone with a cancelled flight with be notified 14 days prior to flying.


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