The High Court in London yesterday (Wednesday) threw out Ryanair’s bid to stop a strike by pilots today (22 August) and tomorrow (23 August).
Justice Lambert DBE rejected Ryanair’s various technical and legal arguments and agreed that British Airline Pilots’ Association’s (BALPA) industrial action ballot and procedures were lawful, and so the strike can proceed.
Ryanair pilots are striking over pay and working conditions. They are also set to hold a strike from 2-4 September.
BALPA has responded to their legal victory and said it has offered “an olive branch” to Ryanair – a framework to allow constructive negotiations to take place and if agreed by Ryanair will avoid the need for strikes.
BALPA general secretary, Brian Strutton said: “Ryanair was foolish to bring this into the High Court rather than the negotiating room. We offered to meet Ryanair management at ACAS to negotiate a resolution, but instead they attempted a legal bludgeon. That’s backfired.
“However, we are clear that we want to settle the dispute and bring about a change in Ryanair for the better.”
He said Ryanair pilots are seeking the same kind of policies and agreements that exist in other airlines – and the demands are “not unreasonable”.
Strutton added: “We want to address issues like pensions; loss of licence insurance; maternity benefits; allowances; and harmonise pay across the UK in a fair, transparent, and consistent structure.
“We hope that Ryanair will take up our offer of a way forward this evening so we can call off this action. We urge Ryanair to change their attitude to dealing with us, and adopt a constructive approach.
“In the event that Ryanair rejects our overture and therefore the action over the next two days does go ahead, we apologise to the passengers who will be affected. Such action could have been avoided if Ryanair adopts a different approach.”