Ryanair’s UK pilots have announced a further seven days’ strike action this month in their ongoing dispute with the budget carrier over pay and employment conditions.
Pilots union Balpa’s Ryanair members voted to strike last month, and staged walkouts over 22-23 August and again from Monday to Wednesday this week (2-4 September).
However, the union on Wednesday (4 September) announced further walkouts later this month after Ryanair “refused” to attend talks at government conciliation service Acas.
Balpa members will strike over 18-19 September and then on 21 September; 23 September; 25 September; 27 September; and 29 September.
“We are clear we want to settle the dispute and bring about a change in Ryanair for the better,” said Balpa general-secretary Brian Strutton.
“Pilots in Ryanair are seeking the same kind of policies and agreements that exist in other airlines – our demands are not unreasonable.
“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.
“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.
“Ryanair should stop dragging its feet and get back to the negotiating table.”
Ryanair, though, has this week shrugged off Balpa’s action, claiming none of its scheduled flights to and from the UK on Monday and Tuesday were affected by the walkout, adding on Wednesday morning: “We do not expect any strike-related disruption to our flights to and from our UK airports.”
A Ryanair spokesperson said it had called on Balpa to return to the negotiating table.