Ryanair and Irish pilots union enter talks in bid to avoid strikes this summer

Ryanair and union Forsa have entered mediation talks in a bid to avoid strike action this summer.

The union, who represents a number of the airline's Irish pilots, confirmed that it would be entering talks with the airline through mediator Kieran Mulvey on Wednesday afternoon.

The news comes less than a week after the union revealed that 94 per cent of its members who took part in a strike ballot voted in favour of industrial action .

If no agreement is reached then it could be that the union chooses to follow the result and plan strikes during the peak travel season.

Forsa said that "only a substantive and meaningful counter-proposal" from Ryanair would be considered to prevent strike action.

Currently there are no strike dates confirmed, and it's worth noting that the union is required to give Ryanair at least one week's notice for any industrial action.

The dispute between the union and airline comes over pay, with Forsa saying that it was seeking pay levels and structures for its members.

Following the news of the strike ballot results last week, Ryanair said in a statement that it was "disappointed" the pilots were threatening strike action.

The airline added that less than half of its Irish pilots are members of FORSA, and that those who voted for industrial action represented less than 25 per cent of its Irish pilots.

It also claimed that it has not received specific pay proposals from the union and was expecting further mediation.

However Forsa claims that the Irish Airline Pilots’ Association (Ialpa) submitted a 30-page proposal to Ryanair management in March of this year.

Ryanair is already facing separate strikes by its pilots who are members of union BALPA, with walkouts planned in August and September.

The first walkouts are planned from 00:01 on Thursday 22nd August until 23:59 on Friday 23rd August, while the second walkouts are planned from 00:01 on Monday 2nd September until 23:59 on Wednesday 4th September.

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