Today (Fri 3 Aug) 25% of Ryanair’s Irish pilots are holding a 4th strike, which has had no effect since only 20 of Ryanair’s 300 flights to/from Ireland today were cancelled over 7 days ago, and all 3,500 customers (of the 430,000 travelling with Ryanair today) were re-accommodated or refunded last weekend. Ryanair has to date held 2 meetings with Forsa and our pilots stretching over 9 hours of discussions. In that time, 11 seniority issues were raised by the pilots and Ryanair has broadly agreed 9 of them. Of their two outstanding issues, FORSA have refused to engage or explain them, and appear determined to generate a dispute in order to justify repeated unnecessary strike action.
On Mon July 30th, Ryanair invited FORSA to meet on any date after the strike on Fri 3rd August. FORSA replied on 2ndAugust ignoring the invitation to meet and instead notified Ryanair of another (5th) strike by 25% of Irish pilots on Fri 10 Aug next. This irresponsible action, designed to cause the maximum damage to Ryanair, more disruption and harm to its passengers, is indicative of FORSA’s agenda, which is not to seek a resolution of Ryanair pilots actual concerns, but rather to advantage its competitors and in particular Aer Lingus. In fact it is quite clear that this agenda is being driven by amongst others an Aer Lingus pilot Capt. Evan Cullen who appears to be controlling the FORSA agenda.
Ryanair has engaged successfully with pilot unions in the UK, Italy, and Spain whose ideas and issues enable us to grow and maintain a successful Airline. Yet this same Aer Lingus pilot Evan Cullen has in the last number of days sought to contact various stock brokers and airline analysts offering to “discuss the issues in greater detail” in order to influence the Ryanair share price.
It is bizarre that FORSA who in the main represent middle and lower ranking Irish public service workers, many of whom are the very people who avail of Ryanair’s low fares, are instead pandering to a handful of Aer Lingus pilots who don’t wish to see progress in Ryanair and who have hijacked the FORSA negotiations process in an attempt to wreck the Ryanair business model and presumably return to the old days when high Aer Lingus fares meant only the wealthy could avail of air travel.
Ryanair’s Chief People Officer Eddie Wilson said:
“Given the non-engagement by FORSA, and in particular the manipulation of the discussions by certain Aer Lingus pilots to ensure that no meetings take place, that unsuccessful strikes keep repeating, Ryanair now feels the only way to introduce common sense is by way of third party mediation, and to this end is suggesting Mr. Kieran Mulvey formerly of the Labour Commission and Workplace Relations Commission. His background and experience could be a positive influence. We now call on FORSA to accept Mr Mulvey as a 3rd party mediator, an initiative FORSA have repeatedly called for in recent weeks.”