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Voice of the Employee

UK-based Ryanair pilots have voted for seven further days of strikes as part of a row over pay and conditions. The British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa) said it wanted to settle the dispute, but Ryanair has refused to seek conciliation.

Pilots are currently on strike after also walking out from 22-23 August. Ryanair said the strikes were “pointless” as the industrial action had not resulted in any flight cancellations.

The next rounds of strikes will be:

–  18-19 September for 48 hours

–  21 September for 24 hours

–  23 September for 24 hours

–  25 September for 24 hours

–  27 September for 24 hours

–  29 September for 24 hours

Balpa said its members want the same kind of agreements that exist in other airlines on pensions, loss of licence insurance, maternity benefits, allowances and pay.

“While this action has considerably disrupted Ryanair, forcing them to engage contractors and bring in foreign crews to run its operation, it has had limited impact on the public’s travel plans,” said Balpa’s general secretary Brian Strutton.

“Ryanair should stop dragging its feet and get back to the negotiating table.”

Ryanair said most of its pilots had flown during the strike action in August and early September.

“These latest Balpa strikes are pointless given that during five days of Balpa strikes on 22,23 August and 2,3,4 September, all Ryanair flights to and from UK airports operated as scheduled with zero cancellations thanks to the efforts of over 95% of our UK pilots who flew as rostered and did not support these failed Balpa strikes.

“We again call on Balpa to return to talks as these failed strikes have not achieved anything.”

In August Ryanair said job losses were coming following a 21% fall in quarterly profits after higher costs for fuel and staff, and reduced ticket prices.

On 31 July, Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary told staff in a video message the airline has 900 too many pilots and cabin crew members.

He said the two weakest markets are the UK, where there were Brexit uncertainties, and Germany, where Ryanair faced fierce competition on price.