Ryanair faces its first strike

Ryanair is warning its pilots in Dublin that it will meet any attempts at industrial action "head on" and are not above having to remove some jets out of the capital.

Ryanair will cut the pay and conditions of pilots at its Dublin home base if they vote for industrial action, the airline said on Wednesday as an Italian union said its members would hold the company's first-ever strike next week.

Ryanair pilots in Portugal have voted in favour of industrial action up to and including strike action, although they have yet to announce a date for any action.

Following on from Ryanair cancelling 2,100 flights between September and October and a further 18,000 between November and March, there have been widespread reports of discontent among pilots at the airline.

The warning came as the airline's pilots across Europe intensify efforts to push for collective bargaining and unionisation at the carrier. Ryanair company councils have recently been established under Ialpa's umbrella, and under the auspices of a number of other European aviation unions.

Ryanair has also said repeatedly that it does not recognise the EERC and will not negotiate with pilots in this fashion.

"We expect this latest threatened strike will also be postponed or canceled", spokesman Robin Kiely said.

"I am now calling on you to directly engage with Ialpa and enter into negotiations with us on all aspects of pay, terms and conditions of employment for pilots directly employed by Ryanair in Ireland", Mr Cullen told Mr O'Leary.

"However, he stresses: ".we will NOT be dealing with Aer Lingus pilots or their union no matter how much or how long any such IALPA led action will occur".

"This simply will not happen", Wilson wrote.

He says that the Dublin base would be frozen until further notice, with no promotions for First Officers or Second Officers, and no transfers facilitated out of the base.

Ryanair routinely dismisses "competitor pilot unions" who it says claim to represent more Ryanair pilots than they do. A spokesman said it did not believe the Italian pilots would actually strike.

"We are not aware of any negotiations that have taken place in this instance and we are not clear on what basis pilots in Shannon or Cork are being asked to vote on something that has not been negotiated through or with their representatives", the ERCs said.

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