Belfast Telegraph

Ryanair granted injunction preventing Irish-based pilots from going on strike

Ryanair claims strike action would be in breach of an agreement made in 2018 (Niall Carson/PA)
Ryanair claims strike action would be in breach of an agreement made in 2018 (Niall Carson/PA)

By Aodhan O'Faolain

The High Court has granted Ryanair an injunction preventing its Irish-based pilots from going on strike later this week.

In his ruling this morning Mr Justice Denis McDonald said that he was satisfied from the evidence that Ryanair DAC was entitled to orders against Forsa, which is the parent union of IALPA, preventing the airline pilots from striking for 48 hours commencing on midnight on August 22nd next.

The orders are to remain in place pending the full hearing of the dispute.

IALPA represents approximately 180 Dublin based pilots who are directly employed by Ryanair, recently balloted its members who voted to go on strike in a dispute over pay and conditions.

Ryanair's action, which was opposed, was also against several pilots who are members of IALPA, including that union's president Mr Evan Cullen.

In seeking the injunction the airline, represented by Martin Hayden SC and Eoin O'Shea Bl claimed that the proposed strike breached an agreement the parties signed up to last year.

It claimed that agreement, following industrial action last July/August, was entered into following a mediation conducted by retired Workplace Relations Commission Chair Mr Kieran Mulvey.

The airline also claimed that there is no valid trade dispute between the parties.

The airline also claimed that the dates of the industrial action were chosen to cause maximum disruption to its business and coincide with strike action being taken on the same dates by Ryanair's UK-based pilots.

Ryanair's case that the strike ballot is invalid because not all relevant members of the union who are directly employed by Ryanair were balloted.

The claims are denied.

The defendants represented Marguerite Bolger SC, appearing with Jason Murray Bl said that the ballot was fully compliant with the union's own rules and Industrial Relations laws.

The union claimed it was involved in a trade dispute relating to pay with Ryanair, who it claims has failed to agree or engage with proposals it made last March.

Forsa's claims the 2018 agreement only concerns issues that arose between Ryanair and the union members in July and August 2018, and has nothing to do with the current dispute.

The union said that agreement related to specific issues including pilots grades, annual leave and base transfers.

The union said it was a fundamental role of any trade union to seek the best possible deal for its members and that is exactly what Forsa/Ialpa have sought to do.

The union said it had not engaged in any inappropriate behaviour as alleged by the airline.

The union said it regretted any disruption to the airline's customers, but said it has acted in a responsible and appropriate manner.

Irish Independent

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