Ryanair pilots in Germany are planning a 24-hour strike action this week, their union announced Wednesday.
The strike is to begin shortly after midnight on Friday and is expected to affect all flights of the Irish airline from and to Germany, the Vereiniging Cockpit (VC) union said in a statement.
The German pilots' industrial action is adding to strikes already planned for the same day in Ireland, Sweden and Belgium. Together, it would be the biggest pilots' strike in the history of Ryanair.
So far, the carrier has already canceled 146 flights of a total of 2,400 scheduled European flights for Friday.
Not budging an inch
VC union chief Martin Locher accused Ryanair's executives of blocking a mutually beneficial solution at the negotiating table, with the German pilots eager to see an improvement in their working conditions and wages.
"During previous rounds of negotiations, Ryanair has always categorically ruled out any increase in staff costs, but it has failed to indicate where the management sees room for maneuver in the collective bargaining process," Locher said.
Just two weeks ago, Ryanair flight attendants in Spain, Portugal and Belgium forced the airline to cancel some 600 flights, affecting a total of 100,000 passengers.
Ryanair agreed last year to finally recognize unions, but it has so far failed to hammer out collective labor deals with staff across Europe.
hg/sri (dpa, Reuters)