Ryanair today (30 July) invited trade union Forsa and its Pilot Committee to meet to discuss Forsa’s requirements, after next Fridays 4th strike by just 25 per cent of Irish pilots, which has disrupted another 3,500 Irish customers flights.
The carrier said since all these passengers have now been re-accommodated or refunded, these 20 cancelled flights (out of 300) cannot be restored even if this 4th strike is called off, as the damage to Ryanair’s Irish business has already been done.
Ryanair also released details of FORSA’s 11 requirements, none of which have already been agreed by Ryanair. Only 2 of these, no.6 (which would limit Ryanair’s growth and F.O. promotions), and no.11 (which FORSA cannot explain because it contradicts no.7 & no.10) are not agreed.
The low-cost carrier said given how much Ryanair has already agreed to, it is irresponsible of Forsa to call repeated strikes of Irish pilots and refuse to meet Ryanair (as they did last Tuesday), which has damaged Ryanair’s Irish business and led to 300 pilots and cabin crew receiving protective notices.
Ryanair’s chief operating office, Peter Bellew said: “The 20 cancelled flights next Friday cannot be recovered even if this unnecessary (4th) strike is called off. We hope FORSA will accept our invitation to meet either next Saturday (4th) or any day the following week commencing Mon 6 Aug, as long as no more strikes are called while we meet, and no Aer Lingus pilots are involved in these negotiations.
“FORSA’s call for a meeting lacks credibility when we invited them to meet us last Wednesday, and their only response was to refuse, and instead call a 4th strike. We apologise to the 3,500 Irish customers (whose 20 flights next Fri have been cancelled), but who have now been re-accommodated or refunded. We share their frustration at these strikes (by just 25% of Irish pilots), which are unnecessary when we have already agreed to 9 of Forsa’s 11 requirements.”
On Friday, Ryanair called on Forsa to remove Aer Lingus pilot – Captain Evan Cullen – from interfering in the negotiation between Ryanair, Forsa and the carrier’s pilots.
The airline said it believes Forsa is not in control of this process and is being misled by, and deferring to, an Aer Lingus pilot for decisions in this process, which it said helps to explain why Ryanair has signed recognition agreements with bigger unions in the UK, Italy, and Germany, but has made no progress in Ireland with a small group (just 25 per cent) of Irish pilots.