Pilots based in Germany who work for airline Ryanair and are members of the Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) trade union are on strike today (Friday 10 August 2018) in a dispute over the creation of a collective wage agreement and a general agreement around terms and conditions, including working schedules.
The 24-hour strike, which was announced by VC during a press conference on Wednesday 8 August 2018, will run from 3.01am this morning until 2.59am on Saturday 11 August 2018.
VC members voted 96% in favour of industrial action. Ryanair has not submitted any further offers around the collective agreements since the vote closed on 30 July 2018, according to VC.
The dispute regards negotiations between VC and Ryanair around a remuneration agreement and a more universal collective agreement, which considers aspects such as rostering. Negotiations around these commenced in January 2018, however VC claims that no substantial progress has been made.
Ryanair pilots will also be striking in Belgium, Ireland and Sweden today.
Kenny Jacobs, chief marketing officer at Ryanair, said: “We regret the decision of the VC to go ahead with this unnecessary strike action given that we sent through a revised proposal on a collective labour agreement [CLA] on Friday 3 August and stated our intention to work towards achieving a CLA together. We also invited VC to meet us on Tuesday 7 August but they did not respond to this invitation.
“Our pilots in Germany enjoy excellent working conditions. They are paid up to €190,000 (£170,677.22) [a year] and, as well as additional benefits, they received a 20% pay increase at the start of this year. Ryanair pilots earn at least 30% more than Eurowings and 20% more than Norwegian pilots.
“We asked VC to provide us with at least seven days’ notice of any planned strike action so that we could notify our customers of cancelled flights in advance and offer them alternative flights or refunds, but they have refused to do this.
“Ryanair is now forced to cancel 250 flights of over 2,400 flights scheduled to operate on Friday 10 August. We apologise to our customers for this unnecessary strike and regrettable disruption.”
Martin Locher, president at VC, added: “Our demands relate to improvements in pay and working conditions. Improvements are inconceivable without staff cost increases in the cockpit. Ryanair categorically ruled out any increase in staff costs in the negotiations. At the same time, Ryanair has never shown where there [is] leeway to find solutions. Ryanair alone is responsible for the escalation that has now occurred.”