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Dutch pilots to join their colleagues striking across Europe against Ryanair's pay and conditions

HUNDREDS of flights will be grounded across Europe tomorrow as pilots at budget airline Ryanair will join their cabin crew colleagues in a 24-hour stoppage in the long-running dispute over pay and conditions.

Dutch pilots union VNV will join Ryanair workers from Spain, Portugal, Italy and Belgium as they hope to win a deal which guarantees “fundamental workers’ rights.”

“The Dutch demands are modest. Dutch law should be applied. No more bogus self-employment and decent sick pay and pension,” a VNV statement said.

It is understood that German cabin crew may also take part in the strike action, although this had not been confirmed at the time the Star went to print.

Tomorrow’s action is the latest wave of strikes to hit the no-frills Irish airline. A summer of discontent saw planes grounded during the peak holiday season as workers demand basic employment rights and increased pay.

Ryanair has consistently branded the strikes unnecessary, but the company has been forced to shift its hostile stance to trade unions over the course of the dispute.

It signed a recognition agreement with Ireland’s newest trade union Forsa last year and, earlier this week, Ryanair announced it had signed a collective labour agreement (CLA) with Italy's three main cabin crew unions — FIT CISL, ANPAC and ANPAV.

The deal means that Italian crew will be employed under Italian contracts — one of the main sources of the dispute with workers employed on Irish contracts — and will be treated under Italian law, with workers able to access Italian benefits such as maternity and paternity leave.

A new pay agreement will see crew benefit from a new pension scheme and increased tax-free allowances.

Around 30,000 passengers are believed to be affected by tomorrow’s action, with 190 of 2,400 scheduled flights cancelled — 8 per cent of Ryanair’s total.

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