Ryanair pilots announced earlier this month they were planning to join British Airways in strikes over the summer. The national executive for the British Airlines Pilots Association confirmed it would strike on two separate occasions over the summer: one of which began this morning. The strikes threatened to potentially disrupt thousands of British holidaymakers over the busiest holiday season of the year. But what is happening now with the strike and what other dates are they striking?
Thousands of passengers were braced for the worst this morning as Ryanair pilots walked out over pay and conditions.
However, as less than 30 percent of the budget airline’s UK-based pilots are taking part in the strike, the airline has said that flights in and out of UK airports took off as normal this morning despite the strikes.
Ryanair has said it aims to minimise disruption for passengers and will be able to run its “full schedule of flights”, although it warned delays were possible.
Ryanair said it would inform passengers of any changes to their flights by email and text message. “If you have not received any SMS or email from us, your flight is scheduled to operate.”
The airline also advised customers to check its website here.
Why are the Ryanair pilots striking?
The pilots are striking over pay and benefits, particularly in regards to policies concerning pensions, maternity benefits and pilot insurance, where they have asked the airline to make changes.
The striking pilots are also calling on the airline to “harmonise pay across the UK in a fair, transparent, and consistent structure”.
At the ballot were the vote to strike was decided, 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.
“That is why our claim includes many issues including pensions; loss of license insurance; maternity benefits; allowances; and a fair, transparent, and consistent pay structure.
“We have made no progress with Ryanair management on any of those areas at all, seemingly because Ryanair management cannot understand how to go about working with us constructively, or how to negotiate. Ryanair has made no offer to Balpa in respect of its pilots.”
The ballot was called after airline boss Michael O’Leary warned staff to prepare for job cuts, saying the airline has 900 too many pilots and cabin crew on July 31.
In July, the budget airline reported a sharp decrease in its quarterly profits to 21 percent, qualifying the drop as a result of higher fuel and staffing costs, alongside ticket price reductions.
Mr O’Leary said the airline’s two weakest markets were Germany and the UK.
The German market is weaker because of fierce price competition on price and the UK is weak down to Brexit uncertainty which has disrupted business.
Ryanair attempted to block the industrial action in courts in London and Dublin this week, however the attempts failed.
In response, Balpa accused the airline of “bully boy” tactics.
The strike which began today will last for 48 hours, through Friday, August 23.
The second strike will be held from Monday, September 2 to Wednesday, September 4 for 60 hours, covering three days.
Published at Thu, 22 Aug 2019 10:44:00 +0000