RYANAIR pilots have downed tools today causing huge cost to the company after Ryanair managers again refused to enter talks to end the long running dispute.
Their union BALPA said: ‘Pilots, whose argument is with the company and not passengers, are showing their resolve with the action after Ryanair declined time and again to negotiate on issues within the company which arise from years of non-recognition of unions.
‘The strike comes after Ryanair unsuccessfully attempted to legally bludgeon its workforce by trying to seek an injunction to stop the strike in the High Court. The company then snubbed its staff and appears to have ignored the needs of its passengers again by refusing to accept BALPA’s offer to enter constructive negotiations, an action which would have prevented immediate strike action.
‘The pilots have walked out today as a wake-up call to the company. They are calling for a consistent and transparent pay structure, adequate pension provision, loss of licence insurance and more appropriate maternity benefits.’
BALPA has received messages of support for its members who are undertaking the action, from pilots around the world.
Brian Strutton, BALPA General Secretary said: ‘Time and again Ryanair management has shown its head is in the sand when it comes to its workforce. We’ve tried on numerous occasions to get them round the negotiating table, but they flatly refuse.
‘But their pilots are determined to be heard. Our argument is not with passengers but with the company and we hope this walk out will signal the resolve of our members.
‘Ryanair pilots simply want to bring about change in the company that will ensure its workforce are entitled to benefits that are seen across aviation in many other companies.
‘The figures bandied about by Ryanair when it comes to our pay claim are simply ridiculous, bumped up, fictitious spin.
‘Ryanair needs to wake up to the reality that its pilots are determined to seek change. They need to put a serious offer on the table so that this industrial action, brought about by the company’s flat refusal to even look at the needs of its workforce and passengers, can be brought to an end.’