Fresh woe for holidaymakers as Ryanair pilots vote for two-day strikes2 min read

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Fresh woe for holidaymakers as Ryanair’s £135,000-a-year pilots vote for series of strikes in dispute over pay and conditions

  • There will be a two-day strike from August 22 and another from September 2-4 
  • Timing of the strikes comes right as the summer holiday season is in full swing 
  • It comes just days after strike summer chaos was averted at Heathrow Airport 

There is fresh woe for holidaymakers this summer as Ryanair’s £135,000-a-year-pilots have voted for a series of strikes in a dispute over pay and conditions.

According to their union Balpa, there will be a two-day strike from August 22, and a second strike from the early hours of September 2 until just before midnight on September 4.

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The timing of the strikes will come as a bitter blow to travellers, as they occur when the summer holiday season is in full swing. 

It comes just days after a planned strike by Heathrow Airport workers was suspended at the last minute, and thousands of holidaymakers face an anxious wait, after Unite confirmed a strike could still take place later this month.

The timing of the strike will come as a bitter blow to travellers as they occur when the summer holiday season is in full swing

The timing of the strike will come as a bitter blow to travellers as they occur when the summer holiday season is in full swing

A union statement said: ‘Decades of Ryanair refusing to deal with unions has resulted in two things. 

‘Firstly, a management that apparently doesn’t understand how to work with unions, and secondly a company that doesn’t have a number of standard agreements that any union would reasonably expect in any workplace.

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‘That is why our claim includes many issues including pensions; loss of license insurance; maternity benefits; allowances; and a fair, transparent, and consistent pay structure.

‘We have made no progress with Ryanair management on any of those areas at all, seemingly because Ryanair management cannot understand how to go about working with us constructively, or how to negotiate. Ryanair has made no offer to Balpa in respect of its pilots.’

The strike is a setback for management at Europe’s largest low-cost carrier, which in recent months said it had largely resolved an industrial relations dispute with pilots and cabin crew that led to a series of damaging strikes last year.

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Members of the British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa) voted by 4-1 to back a campaign of action on a 72% turnout.

Ryanair pilots are not paid as much as their counterparts at British Airways, but the budget operator has previously ssaid its pilots operating from London Stansted typically earn around £135,000 following a pay rise.

Chief among concerns for pilots are pensions, maternity benefits and the need for a ‘fair transparent and consistent pay structure.’

Balpa previously said it had made detailed demands to Ryanair for improvements to pay and working conditions but that the airline had refused to even table a counter-offer. 

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