Ryanair has called on Irish trade union Forsa to cancel the Irish pilots strike due to take place on Thursday 12 July, calling it “unnecessary.”
They asked for the the union to meet with the airline to negotiate, pointing out that just 27 percent of Irish pilots balloted backed the strike.
Ryanair use over 350 pilots at its three Irish bases, Dublin Cork and Shannon.
A notice was posted to Twitter on Friday. It stated: “Ryanair calls on FORSA Union to cancel next Thursday’s unnecessary Irish pilot strike, and take up Ryanair’s invitation to meet on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday next week at Ryanair offices to discuss the issues of seniority and base transfers, which have already been addressed in written proposals sent by Ryanair to FORSA.
“Ryanair’s Irish passengers should not be disrupted next Thursday when this strike has the support of just 94 of Ryanair’s over 350 Irish pilots.
“This is a quorum of just 27 percent, and significantly less than one third of Ryanair’s Irish pilots.
Ryanair has around 100 directly employed pilots in Ireland with another 200 on personal services contracts.
Contracted pilots are expected to work as normal but the majority of directly employed cockpit crew are captains which could potentially increase the impact of the strike.
The strikes – which will start at 1am on Thursday – come as pilots complain about management’s approach to transferring pilots between its European and African bases.
The issues of seniority and annual leave arrangements are also contentious.
A briefing note from Ryanair reveals that Irish Captains now earn between €180,000 to €200,000 a year and Ryanair B737 pilots earn 20% more than competitor (Norwegian, Jet2) B737 pilots.
It also states Irish pilots have this year agreed to 20 percent pay increases.
Ryanair pilots work a fixed roster of five days-on, followed by four days-off. Ryanair pilots cannot by law fly more than 900 hours, claim the airline.
A roster shown to Express.co.uk shows that during the period of five days on, a pilot can do either two or four flights each day.
Just five days on the sample roster see the pilot doing four flights. The total number of days worked comes to 15, and the number of days off 16.
However, the pilots are more troubled with the way they are treated than by the number of hours. Last week the Irish Airline Pilots Association (IALPA) issued a statement regarding the 24-hour strike on their Twitter account.
It read: “Our member pilots directly employed by Ryanair complain that there is no transparent system for the determination of important matters.”
This included: “voluntary/involuntary base transfer/allocation, command upgrade, allocation of annual leave and promotion.
“When a pilot receives notice of a mandatory base change, or is denied a request for a change of base, such management decisions can have a devastating effect on family life.”
Anyone whose flights are affected are entitled to be re-booked on Ryanair or on alternative airlines if no seats are available the same or following day.
Express.co.uk has contacted Ryanair for comment.