Flight Information

Ryanair says any Dublin-based pilot who strikes will lose pay benefits and promotion opportunities

A host of Ryanair's Dublin-based pilots are set to strike on Wednesday 20th December, and now the airline has made it abundantly clear that any employee who takes part will face repercussions.

The company has responded to the strike notice with a statement on its corporate website where it confirmed that pilots who participate in the industrial action will "lose those agreed benefits which arise from dealing directly with Ryanair" - including pay benefits and promotion opportunities.

Part of the statement read:

"Ryanair has already confirmed that any Dublin pilots who participate in this industrial action will be in breach of the Dublin pilots base agreement and they will lose those agreed benefits which arise from dealing directly with Ryanair, including the 5on/4off rosters, certain pay benefits and promotion opportunities until such time as they chose to return to the 25 year established practice of dealing directly with Ryanair."

The message is loud and clear, but it seems an incredibly harsh response.

The dispute has arisen after Ryanair's refusal to recognise the Irish Airline Pilot's Association (IALPA) as a union - something which the airline has a legal right to do.

Ryanair's claiming that by taking part in the strikes, pilots are breaching their "base agreement"; so until those employees deal directly with the airline without going through IALPA, they will no longer have access to the agreed benefits.

However, pilots also have the freedom to strike; and the risk of losing plenty of benefits puts a significant amount of pressure on them if they're trying to decide whether to exercise that freedom.

It's reminiscent of when British Airways employees went on strike - and the union accused the airline of punishing staff as a result.

It's worth noting that not all of the Dublin-based pilots will be on strike, as IALPA only represents those directly employed by the airline (Ryanair often hires pilots through third parties).

Still, with plenty of these employees are captains, without whom planes won't be flown - so it could lead to some disruption to Ryanair's schedule in the lead-up to Christmas.

However, Ryanair has claimed that it's "a small group of pilots" who will be involved in the action.

Another part of their statement read: "While some disruption may occur, Ryanair believes this will largely be confined to a small group of pilots who are working their notice and will shortly leave Ryanair, so they don’t care how much upset they cause colleagues or customers."