Published: Sun, August 05, 2018
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Spanish pilots union sues Ryanair over contracts

Spanish pilots union sues Ryanair over contracts

The Swedish strike is one of a number planned over the next few weeks, with some of the airline's Dublin-based pilots scheduled to stop work again on Friday, their fourth one-day stoppage.

The airline is bracing itself for another round of strike action next Friday, when 25 per cent of its pilots will strike. The crisis led to a U-turn at Ryanair, which started negotiations with trade unions in several countries.

"This fifth strike notice by Forsa is irresponsible, unwarranted and is disrupting customers and (a way of damaging) Ryanair's business", Ryanair's chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said in a statement.

German pilots union VC has supported the industrial action, while pilots in the Netherlands have done likewise, though what action will be taken by either has yet to be revealed. Ryanair said the walkout has had no effect on its service as on 24 of the 300 flights to and from Ireland were cancelled a week ago.

Forsa said in a statement: "Ryanair's announcement that it will accept independent third-party assistance in its dispute with pilots, which was made without preconditions, is an unexpected and positive development".

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"Ryanair's refusal to recognize SEPLA and to apply the Spanish labor legislation to its pilots operating in Spain forces the union to use the judicial route to achieve this objective", it said.

Trade union Forsa, of which the Irish Air Line Pilots' Association (IALPA) is a branch, said directly employed Ryanair pilots in Ireland would stage their fifth one-day strike since July 12 beginning at 0100 on August 10 in an ongoing dispute about working conditions including base transfers. The move could result in the loss of over 100 pilots and more than 200 cabin crew jobs.

Last year Norwegian said it had poached more than 140 pilots from Ryanair across Europe, revealing a scramble among low-priced carriers for experienced staff.

Ryanair refused to say anything on the lawsuit, saying it did not "comment on rumor or speculation".

"The recognition of trade unions and the regularization of the situation of pilots are not incompatible with efficient management in a low-priced company", SEPLA argued.

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