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Ryanair calls for talks with pilots'union after repeated strikes
From:Xinhua  |  2018-08-02 07:11

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DUBLIN, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- Europe's major budget airline Ryanair on Wednesday called for talks with its Ireland-based pilots's union Forsa over the disputes between the two sides, which have led to a series of strikes over the past few weeks.

The call was issued in a letter sent by Ryanair's chief people officer Eddie Wilson to Angela Kirk, National Secretary of Forsa, the largest trade union in the Irish public service sector which represents the interests of the Irish pilots of Ryanair.

In the letter, Ryanair invited Forsa to meet with its representatives immediately after the fourth strike to be held by Ryanair's Ireland-based pilots on Aug. 3 provided that no more strikes will be called by the union before the proposed meeting and no further interference from some trade union activists from Aer Lingus, the second largest airline in Ireland.

Ryanair had accused some pilots of Aer Lingus of being behind the recent strikes launched by Ryanair pilots based in Ireland.

Ryanair claimed in the letter that it had solved nine of the 11 requirements raised by Forsa on behalf of Ryanair's Irish pilots and said that the proposed meeting would help solve the remaining disputes between them.

Forsa has not officially responded to Ryanair's call for the proposed talks. In an interview with a local media, Angela Kirk, a de-facto spokeswoman of Forsa, had denied the claims by Ryanair that most of the demands raised by Ryanair pilots have been met.

She demanded for a neutral venue for the proposed meeting. She said that Ryanair's recent announcement to possibly lay off or transfer some of its Ireland-based pilots due to its so-call business restructuring can only serve to escalate the dispute and take the two sides further from reaching an agreed solution.

She warned of further strikes in due course if the dispute is not solved.

The main dispute between Ryanair and its pilots in Ireland is about a seniority-based system proposed by the pilots regarding the issues related to base-transfer, annual leave, pay and promotions.

The first 24-hour strike was launched on July 12 by Ryanair's Ireland-based pilots after they broke up in the negotiations with the management of the airline, followed by two more one-day strikes on July 20 and July 24. The fourth strike is planned on Friday, Aug. 3.