Transport Committee turns a blind eye to Ryanair strike - Imelda Munster TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson for Transport Imelda Munster TD has today said that she is concerned about the “hands off” attitude taken by her colleagues in the Joint Oireachtas Transport Committee on the matter of the impending strike by Ryanair pilots.
Pilots at the Irish Airline Pilots Association (IALPA) voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action yesterday afternoon, and the first day of strike action is planned for Thursday, 12th July.
In light of the possibility of flight chaos for thousands of families this summer, Deputy Munster proposed that the Transport Committee invite both the company and the unions to attend the next meeting of the committee.
Neither the Committee Chairman, Fergus O’Dowd TD, nor any of the other four members in attendance, supported the proposal.
Deputy Munster said;
“I have serious concerns about the attitude of the Committee towards this issue, given the possibility of disruption to thousands of families over the high season.
“This is the second time within less than a year that I have tried to get Ryanair and IALPA before the Committee.
"Whilst IALPA representatives were more than willing to attend during the major Ryanair flight disruption at the end of last year, the Committee used various mechanisms to disrupt IALPA’s representatives from making their case before the Committee in full.
“One Committee member made the case that because Ryanair is a private company it should not have to appear before the Committee.
"This is nonsense, given that that same member has brought private business from his constituency before the Committee, and indeed the Chair was happy to accommodate foreign companies who wished to lobby the Committee in a private room in Leinster House.
“Ryanair made a commitment to recognise the unions last year. They need to follow through on that commitment and come to a mutually agreeable arrangement with IALPA.
“There are wider issues at Ryanair regarding work contracts and cabin crew which also need to be addressed. This is not just about this particular industrial action.
“The Oireachtas Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport has a role in all transport policy - not merely public transport. Aviation is a part of that. We have a responsibility to engage with all sectors, especially in cases such as this where there is a potential for huge public disruption.