Ryanair pilots to strike next Thursday

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They have warned that if their demands are not met, Ryanair risks a summer of industrial action - but have no plans at present to ballot members for strike action in the 21 countries where they operate.

The Irish Airline Pilots' Association (IALPA) said that 99% of over 100 directly-employed pilots who were balloted backed industrial action.

Ryanair has hit out over air traffic control (ATC) strikes once again, saying they proved particularly turbulent last month.

It has sent a letter to the union with an invitation to meet on 11 July to try to avoid the strike action.

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It is likely to affect thousands of holidaymakers who travel to Dublin to take flights at that time of year.

Ryanair passengers face the prospect of summer chaos after pilots served notice of a 24-hour strike next Thursday - and threatened there will be more to come.

Sources say the unions will be giving a longer notice than the ten-day minimum in an attempt to give the low-priced airline a chance to restart negotiations.

Although the strike was by pilots based in the Republic of Ireland, union leaders say it could have a knock on effect across the United Kingdom as the budget airline attempts to fill the shortage.

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The union said its members felt there was no transparent system to address matters such as transfers between the airline's European and African bases, which can have a "devastating effect on family life".

Ryanair's chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs reiterated the airline's calls for the European Commission to take "urgent action" to help tackle disruption from strikes. The demands which were spelt out in an eight-point charter were the culmination of the first-ever cabin crew summit for Ryanair workers.

The airline said yesterday: "Ryanair will communicate next Tuesday by email and SMS text with all customers travelling from Ireland next Thursday if this unnecessary strike goes ahead".

Ryanair has described the demands as "pointless" and says cabin crew get sick pay, a 400-euro annual uniform allowance and could earn up to 40,000 euros a year.

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However, pilots, cabin crew and ground crew are complaining that since then the airline has not done enough to improve their terms.

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