Ryanair strikes widen as German pilots vote for stoppages

German pilots working for Ryanair have overwhelmingly voted to strike as they push for collective labor agreements at Europe’s largest low-cost carrier. (Reuters/Paul Hanna)
Updated 30 July 2018

Ryanair strikes widen as German pilots vote for stoppages

  • Ryanair management had met with the Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) pilot union in Frankfurt last week
  • Ryanair said in response it had on Monday invited the union to another meeting next week

BERLIN: German pilots working for Ryanair have overwhelmingly voted to strike as they push for collective labor agreements at Europe’s largest low-cost carrier, their union said on Monday, adding to Ryanair’s recent strike woes.
Ryanair management had met with the Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) pilot union in Frankfurt last week. VC said the talks ended without the progress they had hoped for.
The union is giving Ryanair until Aug. 6 to make another offer, VC said in a statement, announcing it would hold a press conference on Aug. 8 to discuss its next steps.
Ryanair said in response it had on Monday invited the union to another meeting next week.
“We hope we can make further progress in concluding a collective labor agreement with our pilots in Germany,” the carrier said.
Ryanair said in December it would recognize unions for the first time but has been struggling to reach agreements with some. It canceled flights after strikes last week by Dublin-based pilots and stoppages by cabin crew in Italy, Spain, Portugal and Belgium.
It also said it planned to shift aircraft and jobs out of Dublin, saying that strikes by Irish pilots had harmed bookings.
Ryanair pilots across Europe are demanding more transparent systems for promotions and transfers to reduce what they say is excessive management discretion over their careers, while cabin crew want local contracts and better conditions.
Ryanair says it offers some of the best conditions among low-cost carriers in Europe and its CEO Michael O’Leary said last week the company would not concede to demands that would impact its low fares business model. Strikes were one of the reasons it gave a more downbeat assessment of summer fares.
VC said 96 percent of Ryanair pilots in Germany voted in favor of strike action. It will give at least 24 hours’ notice of any strikes, it said.
“Ryanair has been playing for time in the negotiations since January,” VC said. “If the signal given by this vote is not taken seriously, then strikes — such as in other European countries — are inevitable.”
German pilots were the first to strike at Ryanair last year, but the disruption was limited.


Oil recoups losses as OPEC, US Fed see robust economy

Updated 14 November 2019

Oil recoups losses as OPEC, US Fed see robust economy

  • US-China trade deal will help remove ‘dark cloud’ over oil, says Barkindo

LONDON: Oil prices reversed early losses on Wednesday after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said it saw no signs of global recession and rival US shale oil production could grow by much less than expected in 2020.

Also supporting prices were comments by US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, who said the US economy would see a “sustained expansion” with the full impact of recent interest rate cuts still to be felt.

Brent crude futures stood roughly flat at around $62 per barrel by 1450 GMT, having fallen by over 1 percent earlier in the day. US West Texas Intermediate crude was at $56 per barrel, up 20 cents or 0.4 percent.

“The baseline outlook remains favorable,” Powell said.

OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo said global economic fundamentals remained strong and that he was still confident that the US and China would reach a trade deal.

“It will almost remove that dark cloud that had engulfed the global economy,” Barkindo said, adding it was too early to discuss the output policy of OPEC’s December meeting.

HIGHLIGHT

  • US oil production likely to grow by just 0.3-0.4 million barrels per day next year — or less than half of previous expectations.
  • The prospects for ‘US crude exports had turned bleak after shipping rates jumped last month.’

He also said some US companies were now saying US oil production would grow by just 0.3-0.4 million barrels per day next year — or less than half of previous expectations — reducing the risk of an oil glut next year.

US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday Washington and Beijing were close to finalizing a trade deal, but he fell short of providing a date or venue for the signing ceremony.

“The expectations of an inventory build in the US and uncertainty over the OPEC+ strategy on output cuts and US/China trade deal are weighing on oil prices,” said analysts at ING, including the head of commodity strategy Warren Patterson.

In the US, crude oil inventories were forecast to have risen for a third straight week last week, while refined products inventories likely declined, a preliminary Reuters poll showed on Tuesday.

ANZ analysts said the prospects for US crude exports had turned bleak after shipping rates jumped last month.