The Ryanair Pilot Strikes Aren't Over Quite Yet...
After widespread European pilot strikes roiled budget carrier Ryanair all summer, the low-cost airline's staffing woes aren't quite behind it yet.
Ryanair's German pilots announced plans for another walkout on Wednesday to protest wages and work conditions. The German pilots' union Condemning the Cockpit was calling for a 24-hour strike for about 400 of the airline's pilots and co-pilots, the Local reports. German-based cabin crew unions also called for a walkout of about 1,000 crew members, the Independent says.
All Ryanair flights to and from all 16 cities it serves in Germany will likely be affected. The carrier has informed passengers that it will try to operate its flights to its German destinations, and it has waived rebooking fees so passengers can change flights to a different day this week with no extra charge.
The Dublin-based airline has settled strikes with its Ireland- and Italy-based pilots' unions, but Germany hasn't yet agreed to the carrier's negotiating terms. Ryanair was threatening layoffs in Germany if the demonstrations continued.
"These threatened strikes can only damage Ryanair's business in Germany, and if they continue, will lead to base cuts and job cuts for both German pilots and cabin crew, particularly at some secondary German bases," Kenny Jacobs, chief marketing officer for the airline, said in a statement.
The low-cost airline's Irish pilots faced a similar consequence, as Ryanair officials said it would be moving 20% of its Dublin-based fleet to Poland and laying off 100 pilots and 200 cabin crew staffers as a result of the strikes there.
Tens of thousands of passengers had their Ryanair flights grounded as pilots and cabin crew across Europe protested the carrier's work conditions. The labor unions organizing the strike claim that “employees are hired by Ryanair or its subsidiaries under contracts governed by countries where they are not based, reducing their leave allowances, causing wage disparities and impeding the workers’ access to state benefits,” the AP reports.
Ryanair's German pilots joined the strikes in early August and were among the last to join the demonstrations, which were started by the airline's Irish pilots on July 12. Additionally, the airline's pilots and cabin crew in Spain, Italy, Portugal, Belgium, Ireland, Sweden and the Netherlands all protested the carrier's wages and labor conditions this summer.