Balpa, The British Airline Pilots Association has announced that Ryanair pilots will take part in two walkouts in August and September this year. According to Balpa, more than 70% of the union’s members had taken part in the vote with over 80% supporting the idea of strike action. Ryanair have however disputed these figures, pointing out that only 50% of their pilots are members of the union and just 57% voted in favour of industrial action.
Ryanair have described the announcement of the strikes as ill-timed", suggesting that they would endanger pilot jobs.
The pilots union have stated that despite there being no desire on their part to disrupt people's travel plans, they had no choice but to take this action following Ryanair’s historic refusal to deal with the unions.
The strike announcement come only days after the Irish Budget airline announced the potential for job loses following a quarterly profit fall of 21%.
Balpa have released some details of their grievances to the media, pointing to pensions, maternity benefits and pay structure as just some of their reasons for striking.
Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary had warned staff back in July to prepare for job cuts claiming that the airline has 900 too many pilots and cabin crew members.
The blame was directed at planned cuts to flights next summer due to the grounding of its Boeing 737 Max fleet.
The 737 Max is currently grounded worldwide over concerns with its software following two deadly crashes.
O'Leary also blamed the "increasing likelihood of a no-deal Brexit in just 12 weeks' time".
"We're worried this could have quite a damaging effect, particularly on our UK bases and on some of our Irish bases, which are heavily dependent on people travelling between Ireland and the UK," he added.