Massive flight disruption likely next week as Ryanair pilots vote for 24-hour strike
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Massive flight disruption likely next week as Ryanair pilots vote for 24-hour strike

RYANAIR pilots based in Ireland will strike for 24 hours on Thursday, July 12 with thousands of holidaymakers likely to be affected.

A ballot by the Irish Airline Pilots Association (IAPA) resulted in overwhelming support for industrial action (99%) today following a dispute over the low-cost carrier's approach to transferring pilots between its European and African bases.

The union claims Ryanair is not taking the demands of pilots seriously and that progress on improving pay and working conditions is too slow.

Pilots will begin their strike next week for a period of 24 hours, commencing at 1am on Thursday, July 12.

The IAPA advised Ryanair it will notify the airline of any additional strike days in due course.

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They said: "Our member pilots directly employed by Ryanair complain that there is no transparent system for the determination of important matters including voluntary/involuntary base transfer/allocation, command upgrade, allocation of annual leave and promotion.

“When a pilot receives notice of a mandatory base change, or is denied a request for a change of base, such management decisions can have a devastating effect on family life."

The union further demanded "a fair and transparent mechanism to understand how and why they are in the base they are in, the order in which their turn may come up for a transfer, how and why they received a particular annual leave allocation, or any other decisions that should take due account of their length of service and seniority in the company."

'Ryanair needs to get serious'

Labour Party transport spokesman Kevin Humphreys called on Ryanair to take the concerns of pilots and the needs of passengers seriously following today’s ballot result.

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"Ryanair need to get serious about their working conditions and do what is necessary to avoid a pilots strike," Senator Humphreys said.

"We are in the peak period of summer travel. If no resolution is reached with the Irish Airline Pilot Association thousands of customers will be discommoded this summer.

"What Ryanair pilots are asking for is commonplace in many airlines and is not unreasonable. Ryanair acknowledged unions for the first time in 2017 to avoid a Christmas strike.

"However, they must realise now that recognising them is not enough, they must now work with them to prevent massive disruption and to do right by their staff and customers."