Ryanair’s UK pilots are due to vote whether to strike over pay and conditions. BALPA, the union which represents the pilots, is due to hold a ballot over the issue, closing on August 7th.
Passengers may remember from last summer that a number of Ryanair strikes led to more than 55,000 people having travel plans disrupted. Hundreds of flights were canceled. These pilots will not be the only ones to go on strike this year. In fact, EVA Air recently overcame a long strike that lasted 17 days, causing huge disruption for the Asian airline.
Why are the pilots considering strike action?
According to BALPA, the British Airline Pilots Association, the ballot over strike action is due to pay and conditions. The union mentioned it tabled a claim addressing “pensions, loss of license insurance, maternity benefits, allowances, and a fair, transparent, and consistent pay structure”.
However, the union claims that it has not been able to come to an agreement with Ryanair. They add that the airline is yet to table their own offer. Speaking in a press release, BALPA General Secretary, Brian Strutton said:
“Our Ryanair representatives have been trying to tackle some of the many issues that result from years of non-recognition of unions within Ryanair. But we have not been able to make any progress with Ryanair at all on any of our areas of concern. As usual with Ryanair, it’s their way or the highway, and we are not prepared to put up with that.”
The ballot over any potential strike action is set to open on the 24th July. It will remain open for two weeks before closing on August 7th. It is important to reiterate that no strike action is currently planned at this point in time.
The union is currently only proposing to hold a vote on whether strike action should take place. According to The Independent’s Simon Calder, the earliest any strike action could take place is August 21st, as two weeks notice before any proposed strike is required.
According to The Telegraph, “Ryanair’s chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said on Wednesday that he hoped to sign a labour agreement with Vereinigung Cockpit in Germany and that he did not expect strikes elsewhere in Europe.”
Summer of strikes
Ryanair is not the only carrier to be affected by the possibility of strike action. easyJet’s contracted check-in operatives at London Stansted Airport are planning to go on strike this summer. This is again because of a row over pay and conditions with employer Stobart Air. While Unite claimed the easyJet strike would cause “severe disruption”, easyJet said alternative plans were in place meaning business as usual.
Do you think Ryanair’s UK pilots will vote to strike? Let us know in the comments.