Tension between Ryanair and its workforce has risen yet again, following the Irish pilots’ union’s decision for a fourth day of planned strikes.
On Wednesday, the union Fórsa said that pilots who are members of the Irish Airline Pilots’ Association (IALPA) would stop work on 3 August after the Irish LCC issued “protective notice” letters to some 300 of its workforce. The union added that further industrial action could follow.
Under Irish labour law, protective notice informs employees their positions may be under threat, specifying a potential contract-end date unless circumstances change.
Fórsa said it believed the issuing of protective notices was intended to pressurise staff and would likely worsen relations between the airline and its workforce.
“Ryanair’s unnecessary decision to issue protective notice 300 of its staff today is reckless and unnecessary, and demonstrates management’s unwillingness and/or inability to implement the airline’s declared intention to agree working conditions with its staff by negotiating with their chosen trade union representatives,” it said.
Ryanair announced on 25 July that it would cut routes to and from Dublin, and move at least six of its Boeing 737-800 fleet from the Irish capital to Poland, to be used by its new local charter airline there, Ryanair Sun.
However, Fórsa noted, “It is normal practice for airlines to reduce activity in the winter months. In light of this—and of Ryanair’s recent difficulty in recruiting and retaining enough pilots to fulfill its schedules—it remains unclear if today’s provocative move heralds a significant change in normal practice.”
For its part, Ryanair took to Twitter, posting that the union had rejected its offer of talks:
Irish Customer Notice: pic.twitter.com/yfiZfA3Bj6
— Ryanair (@Ryanair) July 26, 2018
Fórsa said that it “remains available for talks, and believes it is possible to reach an agreement on the issues in dispute through negotiations.”
It urged Ryanair “to consider the use of independent third-party mediation, as has frequently been suggested by Fórsa, to help the parties reach a settlement that addresses pilots’ reasonable issues, while preserving jobs and growth in the company and its Irish bases.”
The developments came as the airline suffered a second consecutive day of strikes by cabin crew.