Ryanair’s UK pilots have voted to strike over pay and conditions, claiming that the airline has refused to deal with unions for “decades”.
Members of the British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa) voted in favour of two walkouts on 22 to 23 August and 2 to 4 September.
The disagreement centres on pensions, loss of licence insurance, maternity benefits, allowances and pay structures.
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,” – Ryanair statement
“We have had no formal offer from Ryanair and it is imperative that we resolve this dispute urgently to avoid strike action,” said Balpa’s general secretary Brian Strutton.
“No pilot wants to spoil the public’s travel plans but at the moment it seems we have no choice.”
The union said 72% of its members at Ryanair took part in the ballot, with 80% voting in favour of a strike. However, Ryanair claimed that only 30% of its UK pilots had voted to take industrial action as less than half of its pilots were Balpa members.
It said pilots were paid up to £180,000 per year and it last year agreed a 20% salary increase.
The company said it wanted to work with the union to minimise job losses after Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary said it would announce job cuts in the coming weeks. It claimed it had 900 too many pilots and cabin crew.
“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,” Ryanair said in a statement.
“We have written to Balpa asking them to return to talks, and we apologise sincerely to customers for any uncertainty that Balpa’s ballot may cause them.”