Ryanair pilots in Germany plan new 24-hour strike

Ryanair pilots based in Germany plan a 24-hour strike starting on Wednesday, German pilots union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) said in a statement on Monday.

Ryanair pilots and cabin crew have already taken strike action in Italy, Portugal, Spain, Belgium, Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands. Unions in Ireland and Italy have reached agreements with Ryanairduring the past two weeks.

Stalled mediation

  • VC has been demanding better pay and working conditions for Ryanair workers for months.
  • The Irish airline insists the German pilots' dispute should be settled by an Irish mediator, but VC maintains he or she "could not possibly have enough knowledge of German Law and therefore already is not qualified to act as an arbitrator in this case."
  • The union has called the strike from Wednesday, September 12, 3:01 a.m. (0101 UTC) to Thursday, September 13, 2:59 a.m. (0059 UTC).

Read more: Ryanair sees record profits despite cancellation debacle

Long wave of strike action

Ryanair is currently experiencing the worst wave of strikes in its history. While the low-cost carrier has begun recognizing pilot and cabin crew unions across Europe for the first time, workers are unhappy that improvements have yet to be made on pay and other conditions.

The majority of Ryanair pilots based in Germany are direct employees, unlike the situation in other Ryanair markets, and in theory, a widely implemented strike of German-based pilots could significantly affect the airline's operations.

Read more: Ryanair's German-based pilots vote to strike

Unions threaten even bigger September strike

Separately, pilots unions across Europe on Friday threatened "the biggest strike action the company has ever seen" over their members' working conditions. The strike, so far organised by unions in Belgium, Holland, Italy and Spain, is scheduled for the last week in September. The walk-out could be called off should an annual general meeting of Ryanair shareholders on September 20 meet union demands. Ryanair has banned the media from the AGM and there will be no news briefing afterwards, according to a statement cited by Irish public broadcaster RTE.

kw/rc (AFP, Reuters)

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