Ryanair to face down strikes by its Dublin-based pilots

Ryanair's Ireland-based pilots to strike days before Christmas potentially affecting thousands of flights

While it said Ryanair pilots were free to join unions, "Ryanair will not recognise an Aer Lingus pilot union, no matter how often or how long this tiny minority (earning between €150,000 to €190,000 p.a.) try to disrupt our flights or our customers plans during Christmas week".

Members of the Irish Airline Pilots' Association (Ialpa), which is a branch of the trade union Impact, voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action on December 20.

Ryanair customers have been warned they may face disruption to pre-Christmas flights as around a quarter of its Dublin-based pilots go on strike.

Nevertheless, Schulz noted that no strikes would occur during the days around Christmas between the 23rd and 26th of December.

Update 9.15am: A Ryanair pilot strike in Italy could spark similar action here.

Only three of 84 pilots voted against the decision in the ballot, which covered directly employed rather than agency staff.

Ashley Connolly, a union official, said: "Management's failed negotiating model has let down shareholders and tens of thousands of passengers whose flights were cancelled this year because company-controlled industrial relations proved incapable of recruiting and retaining enough pilots".

The strike was voted for in a growing dispute over the airline's collective bargaining system, the IMPACT trade union told Reuters on Monday.

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An IMPACT committee that Ireland's IALPA pilots union operates under will meet today to decide on the next steps, a spokesman for the union said.

Ryanair said it would "not deal with or recognise" the German union "regardless of what action - if any - takes place".

Pilots across the airline's 87 European bases are campaigning for better conditions.

The pilots backed industrial action by a margin of 94% to 6% in secret ballots conducted over the last week.

"Now that Ryanair's Cork, Shannon and Belfast bases have agreed 20% pay increases we expect the Dublin pilots to follow this trend".

"This dispute is about securing a safe space for negotiations, with independent representation that pilots can have confidence in".

Ryanair said it will deal with any such disruptions "if, or when they arise" and said it wanted to "apologise sincerely" to passengers "for any upset or worry" the threatened action may cause them.

The airline said it was entitled to decline to engage with what it called "competitor" pilot unions.

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