August 14, 2019 / 8:31 PM / 9 days ago

Ryanair's pilots in Ireland to proceed with strike after talks fail

FILE PHOTO: Ryanair logo is pictured on the the jacket of a cabin crew member ahead of a news conference by Ryanair union representatives in Brussels, Belgium September 13, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir/File Photo

(Reuters) - Ryanair’s (RYA.I) directly employed pilots in Ireland will strike for 48 hours next week, the Irish pilots’ union Forsa/IALPA said on Wednesday, after mediated talks failed to bring an agreement with the company over the union’s pay proposals.

To prevent a strike on Aug. 22-23, Ryanair management had needed to make a counter-proposal by Aug. 14 that properly addressed all areas of the union’s claim, Forsa/IALPA had demanded.

“No such counter-proposal was made at the mediation meeting today,” Forsa/IALPA said in a statement.

Ryanair has called on its pilots and the union to return to the mediation with proposals that take falling airfares and company profits into consideration, the airline said in a separate statement.

“We have done everything in our power to avoid disruption to our flights and our customers’ holidays. However, no company can concede to grossly unreasonable demands from its highest paid workers... at a time when the airline industry is in crisis,” said Ryanair Chief People Officer Eddie Wilson.

Pilots in the Forsa/IALPA trade union voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action last week after accusing Ryanair of stalling on talks since pay demands were submitted in late March.

Europe’s largest budget airline suffered a number of strikes a year ago after a rocky start to its move to recognise unions for the first time, and it is now also facing strike action from its cabin crew in Spain over the company’s plans to close several bases in the country.

Reporting by Akshay Balan in Bengaluru and Conor Humphries in Dublin; Editing by Sandra Maler and Rosalba O'Brien

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