Ryanair today (2 Aug) deeply regrets FORSA’s unexplained notice of a 5th strike (by just 25% of Irish pilots) on Friday 10th August next, as FORSA again rejected Ryanair’s repeated offers to meet to resolve this dispute on Tues 7 Aug next. Ryanair has already published details of FORSA’s 11 requirements, 9 of which have been agreed.
Last Monday (30 July) Ryanair invited FORSA and its Pilot Committee to meet on Sat 4th Aug (or early next week) to discuss FORSA’s 11 requirements as a way to resolve this dispute without further customer disruption. Ryanair renewed this invitation on Wed 1 Aug and offered to meet FORSA at Dublin Airport at 11am on Tues 7th Aug. Rather than accept these invitations to meet (which FORSA have repeatedly called for), FORSA have now called a 5th strike for Fri 10th Aug, which will needlessly disrupt another 3,500 Irish customers.
This 5th unnecessary strike (by 25%) of Ryanair’s Irish pilots proves that FORSA have no interest in meeting Ryanair. Even at the 2 meetings already held (over 9 hours) they showed no interest in negotiating with Ryanair. The gap between the sides is narrow given that Ryanair has already agreed to 9 of FORSA’s 11 requirements, and yet FORSA keep calling unnecessary strikes, to disrupt Irish customers during the peak travel period. Ryanair believes that this is because FORSA are not in control of the process, it is being driven by a tiny handful of Aer Lingus pilots who are now working with other pilot unions across Europe to create a day of action on Fri 10th Aug next. Ryanair again calls on FORSA to remove these Aer Lingus pilots from the process since they have no interest in meeting or resolving this dispute, they just want to damage Ryanair for the benefit of Aer Lingus.
Since a 5th strike has now been called, Ryanair’s offer to meet on Tues next is pointless (there is no point meeting FORSA while Aer Lingus pilots are organising repeated strikes). Ryanair will now notify another 3,500 Irish passengers of 20 further flight cancellations next Fri 10th Aug, and Ryanair will work over the coming days to re-accommodate those disrupted passengers, to whom we sincerely apologise.
Ryanair’s CMO Kenny Jacobs said:
“This 5th strike notice by FORSA is irresponsible, unwarranted and is disrupting customers and (a way of damaging) Ryanair’s business. FORSA has called for meetings with Ryanair, yet during each of the last 2 weeks when Ryanair has invited FORSA to meet, FORSA has rejected these invitations and instead called a 4th strike tomorrow (3rd Aug), and now a 5th strike (Fri 10th Aug) by just 25% of Irish pilots.
In most unions where 4 strikes have failed to have any effect, the unions and employer would be entering into negotiations to resolve the dispute. In this case, after 4 days of unsuccessful strikes, a handful of Aer Lingus pilots are working behind the scenes with pilot unions in Sweden, Holland, Belgium, and Germany to further disrupt Ryanair’s business and Ryanair’s customers next Fri 10 Aug.
FORSA should now explain why they repeatedly called for meetings, and yet when Ryanair went to 2 meetings, no progress has been made because the Pilots Committee and FORSA spent the majority of the time outside the room consulting with Aer Lingus pilots.
Even when Ryanair invites FORSA to more meetings, FORSA just calls more strikes. FORSA should now explain why another 3,500 Irish customers will have their flights and holidays next Fri 10 Aug disrupted when FORSA have refused not 1, but 2 invitations to meet with Ryanair to resolve this dispute. FORSA should also explain why when Ryanair has agreed 9 of their 11 requirements, they call strikes rather than negotiate.
Ryanair’s problem in this dispute is that FORSA are not in charge. It is being driven by a tiny handful of Aer Lingus pilots. Until FORSA removes these Aer Lingus pilots from the process, more strikes are inevitable, and more customers will have their flights unnecessarily disrupted for the benefit of Aer Lingus and other flag carrier airlines in Sweden, Belgium, Germany and Holland.
We apologise sincerely to the 3,500 Irish customers whose flights next Fri 10 Aug will be disrupted simply because FORSA won’t accept our offers to meet us to resolve this dispute, even though we have agreed 9 of FORSA’s 11 requirements, and why when we have met them, they can’t/won’t negotiate without deferring to Aer Lingus pilots who are outside the room.
FORSA must remove Aer Lingus pilots from this process since they are intent on damaging Ryanair’s business for the benefit of Aer Lingus.”