Ryanair's Irish pilots call for fifth strike day

Fórsa said Ryanair's escalation of the dispute last Wednesday led to a predictable hardening of resolve among staff

A Spanish union said today it was suing Ryanair over "irregularities" in the contracts of its Spain-based pilots, adding to the low-frill airline's woes as it is hit by strikes.

Europe's biggest airline by passenger numbers agreed to recognise unions for the first time late past year but negotiations since have faltered.

The low-priced carrier, Europe's largest by passenger numbers, is in the middle of its worst week of stoppages in more than three decades of flying as it struggles in talks with trade unions whom it has made a decision to recognise for the first time.

Ryanair pilots from Belgium and Sweden have already announced a strike on the same date.

The union said Ryanair's "hostile relations to its employees" have been on show on "several occasions, lately through intimidations and threats to Irish pilots after they used their legal right to strike".

Ryanair flights are to face further cancellations as Irish pilots announce their fifth strike.

While the Irish airline has signed recognition deals in some markets, it has failed to do so in others and not yet reached any collective labour agreements.

Ryanair has received a notice from Forsa about a fifth strike to be held on August 10, the company said in a statement.

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"There is going to be disruption, it will be small, we will manage it".

Ryanair served 90 days "protective notice" on over 100 Dublin-based pilots and 200 cabin crew on July 25, warning them that their positions could be under threat as it plans to cut its Dublin fleet and shift at least six Dublin-based aircraft to Polish charter carrier Ryanair Sun.

Ryanair's summer of strike chaos is set to continue next week as yet more Europe-wide action was announced yesterday.

A Ryanair Boeing 737-800 airplane takes off from the airport in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, July 29, 2018.

Ryanair was unable to avert its first ever pilots strike on December 22 when pilots in Germany held a four-hour walkout with little impact on flights.

It will be the fifth strike by pilots since July 12.

Ryanair refused to say anything on the lawsuit, saying it did not "comment on rumor or speculation".

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