While BALPA has called off strike action by British Airways pilots, the same cannot be said for union members employed by Ryanair. British Ryanair pilots belonging to the BALPA pilots union are now entering their seventh day of strike action.
Ryanair’s BALPA members are currently taking part in a strike which the airline calls pointless. The pilots voted for strike action in a row concerning pay and conditions. The airline says that yesterday 95% of British Airways pilots turned up for their rostered flights, as usual, meaning that all flights operated as planned.
Why are Ryanair’s UK pilots striking?
Ryanair’s UK pilots voted to go on strike action in a row concerning pay and conditions. The ballot for strike action was announced back in July, however, the result wasn’t known until August 7th. The union mentioned it tabled a claim addressing “pensions, loss of license insurance, maternity benefits, allowances, and a fair, transparent, and consistent pay structure”.
The union’s general secretary, Brian Strutton, said at the time that its representatives weren’t able to make any progress with Ryanair. Additionally, he mentioned that the union wasn’t prepared to put up with Ryanair sticking with business as usual.
So what’s the latest?
Today was the seventh day of Ryanair’s BALPA pilots’ strike. Previous strike dates have included the 22nd and 23rd of August, alongside 2nd, 3rd, and 4th of September. The pilots are now in their last seven days of strikes with the first of these being yesterday.
Ryanair said that no flights were canceled yesterday due to the strike. Additionally, 98% of its first wave of flights today were on time. The 2% that weren’t were delayed due to ATC issues unrelated to the strike action. Five more days of strikes are currently planned for the following dates, 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th and 29th of September.
Benefits being cut?
According to BALPA, Ryanair is threatening to cut flight benefits from those pilots going on strike. In a statement, the pilots’ union said,
“It takes an extraordinarily intransigent employer to refuse to take part in an entirely voluntary, non-binding ACAS process from which each side can withdraw at any time. Given that neither side has anything to lose from ACAS conciliation, what on earth is Ryanair frightened of?”
They went on to add,
“Instead of seeking to resolve the current impasse via negotiation, Ryanair seems hell-bent on prolonging the dispute by threatening pilots with the removal of staff travel benefits and inflated and draconian deductions from salary.”
Ryanair has been calling the strikes pointless as “almost all our UK pilots [are] ignoring this BALPA strike”. The airline added: “we once again had no strike related cancellations or disruptions, proving yet again these BALPA strikes are pointless.”
Additionally, Ryanair called for BALPA to return to talks stating: “We again call on BALPA to return to talks with Ryanair to resolve any issues of genuine concern for our UK pilots, where BALPA’s strikes have totally failed.”
What do you make of the strike by Ryanair’s BALPA pilots? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.