Ryanair Strike to Hit Europe Flights Just Before Christmas Weekend

Pilots for Ryanair are set to strike just before the start of a busy holiday travel weekend.

The Irish Airline Pilots’ Association (IALPA), a branch of the IMPACT trade union, says it has served the airline’s management with notice of a one-day strike on December 20, the Wednesday before Christmas weekend. The strike will affect directly-employed pilots, most of which are captains, the union said.

Ryanair has said that it will deal with any disruptions as they arise, and said that the threatened action represents less than 28 percent of its Dublin pilots.

“While some disruption may occur, Ryanair believes this will largely be confined to a small group of pilots who are working their notice and will shortly leave Ryanair,” the airline said in a written statement.

The IALPA said the strike is to protest Ryanair’s management’s refusal to enter direct negotiations with the European Employee Representative Council (EERC) or IALPA as the sole independent representative body for pilots working in the company.

“The airline has so far refused to recognize the EERC or IALPA, and insists that any discussion of pay and working conditions be conducted through management-controlled ‘employee representative councils,’” the IALPA said.

Ryanair argues that its pilots are free to join unions, but that the company is free under both Irish and European Union (EU) law to decline to engage with “competitor pilot unions,” characterizing the IALPA as an “Aer Lingus pilot union.”

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