Home Airlines Ryanair’s German pilots to strike Aug. 10

Ryanair’s German pilots to strike Aug. 10


Ryanair’s German pilots, represented by the Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) union, have called for a 24-hour strike Aug. 10, becoming the latest European pilot union to announce strike action.

The Irish LCC said it will cancel around 250 flights to and from Germany on top of around 150 that have already been canceled because of strikes in Sweden, Ireland and Belgium. According to Ryanair chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs, Ryanair will operate around 85% of services on Friday. The airline typically has around 2,000 daily departures.

Jacobs said he believes the airline will reach a collective bargaining agreement with VC before the end of the year. “We are totally open to making progress with the union, but we will not change our business model,” Jacobs said in Frankfurt.

The airline started recognizing unions in December 2017 and has since been dealing with numerous collective bargaining negotiations in parallel.

In Germany, the dispute centers on pay levels and work conditions. VC is particularly keen to get the number of guaranteed hours up and wants to put various other mechanisms like medical insurance in place to improve work security. Ryanair said it has submitted much-improved proposals to VC, but the union refused to participate in a meeting scheduled for Tuesday. Ryanair also committed to making all remaining contract pilots employment offers before the end of the year. Around 80% of the German Ryanair pilots are now employed.

Ryanair COO Peter Bellew said the strike was unfortunate, but believes it was “part of the narrative of the union that it had to happen.” He pointed out that it was a new experience for both sides to negotiate with each other, and that the tone had already completely changed since the first meetings late in 2017.

The two sides disagree over many of the figures. Whereas the union claimed Ryanair captains make less than €160,000 ($185,323) maximum per year, the company said up to €190,000 per year was possible.




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