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Ryanair German pilots to join widening strike on Friday


BERLIN/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Ryanair pilots in Germany will join colleagues on strike in several European countries on Friday, the German pilots' union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) said late on Wednesday, stepping up pressure in a dispute over pay and conditions.
The European Union executive has also thrown its weight behind workers at the low-cost airline, saying that they should work under contracts in the countries where they live rather than in Ireland where its planes are registered.
"No improved offer has been made to VC since the last industrial action on 12 September 2018. In addition, no conciliation agreement has been reached between Ryanair and VC so far," German union VC said in a statement.
It called on Ryanair pilots in Germany to stage a strike from 3.01 am local time (0101 GMT) on Friday to 2.59 am on Saturday.
Ryanair has already cancelled 150 flights on Friday due to the latest strike action by cabin crews in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain.
Germany's services union Verdi, which represents around 1,000 cabin crew at Ryanair, also planned to hold rallies on Friday over pay and conditions.
The union has said it would decide whether to call for walkouts as well on Thursday evening.
Ryanair, Europe's largest low-cost carrier, has traditionally employed a significant proportion of its staff under Irish law, which unions say inconveniences staff and impedes them from accessing local social security benefits.
After meeting European Employment Commissioner Marianne Thyssen, Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary said the demand was "irrelevant" as the company had already written to unions in all EU countries offering to move staff to local contracts.
(Reporting by Maria Sheahan and Douglas Busvine; Editing by Darren Schuettler)

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First Published: Sep 27 2018 | 11:19 AM IST

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