German union calls for strikes by Ryanair pilots

2017-12-22 10:38
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(Niklas Hallen/AFP)

(Niklas Hallen/AFP)

Berlin — A German union has called on Ryanair pilots to walk off the job on Friday morning, 22 December, accusing the airline of staging a "publicity stunt" when offering to hold negotiations on pay and working conditions.

In a statement on Thursday, 21 December, the Cockpit union called on pilots to strike from 5:01 to 8:59 local time at German airports.

The strike call comes a day after Ryanair called off an opening round of talks at short notice on the grounds that it rejected two of the five union negotiators taking part, according to the union. Ryanair says it objected to the inclusion of a former Ryanair pilot who is in litigation with the company.

ALSO SEE: UPDATE: In about-face, Ryanair recognises unions to avert strikes

Cockpit official Ingolf Schumacher says "the company is not interested in a mutually constructive cooperation."

Following the strike call, Ryanair says it wrote to German pilots asking them to work as normal, and that it intends to continue talks. The airline said last week it was reversing its longstanding refusal to recognise pilots' unions as it worked to avert strikes in several European countries over the busy Christmas season.

The airline says that the planned walkout is "unjustified and unnecessary" and that it had written to the union agreeing to meet again in Frankfurt on 5 January 2018. It says it had written to German pilots asking them to work as normal on Friday and that it planned to operate all scheduled flights.

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