More turbulence for Ryanair as German pilots vote for industrial action

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Ryanair’s German pilots have voted for industrial action, joining several of the airline’s other unions across Europe, as a summer of strikes looks set to spread.

The pilots, 96 per cent of whom voted for industrial action in support of their preferred labour contracts, have given the airline until August 6 to submit “a workable proposal” before announcing a date for action.

Ingolf Schumacher, chairman of industrial relations at Vereinigung Cockpit (VC), the union, said: “Since the start of our negotiations in January, Ryanair has been playing for time and even if Ryanair is not taking this ballot seriously, industrial action like in other European countries seems unavoidable in Germany as well.”

Ryanair has 10 bases and 328 pilots in Germany, representing 7.6 per cent of the airline’s workforce, according to figures from analysts at Bernstein.

Bernstein estimates that more than half belong to VC. The German pilots also went on strike in December 2017.

The airline said: “We have written to the VC today and invited them to another meeting next week. We hope we can make further progress in concluding a collective labour agreement with our pilots in Germany.” Ryanair has been plagued by strikes this summer, both from its own employees and air traffic control staff across Europe.

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