August 3, 2018 / 12:51 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Spanish pilots union sues Ryanair over contracts

(Adds union comment, detail)

MADRID, Aug 3 (Reuters) - Spanish pilots union Sepla is suing Irish airline Ryanair in Spain’s High Court over its pilot contracts, the union said in a statement on Friday.

“After a year of negotiations, the failure of Ryanair to recognise Sepla and apply Spanish labour legislation for the pilots who operate in Spain forces the union to take a legal path to attain this objective,” the union said.

Ryanair did not respond to a request for immediate comment. Sepla represents around 500 of the 800 Ryanair pilots in Spain.

Ryanair agreed in December to recognise trade unions for the first time but has seen strikes in some of its biggest markets including Ireland, Spain and Italy as it struggles to reach collective labour agreements.

On Friday, around a quarter of Ryanair’s 350 pilots based in Ireland took part in a fourth one-day strike.

In May, Sepla said it had broken off talks with the airline and planned to file a lawsuit.

A month earlier in a memo seen by Reuters Ryanair said time-off duties for the pilots committee remained an issue but there was little between the two sides and it was hopeful of a deal.

Reporting by Paul Day; editing by Sonya Dowsett and Jason Neely

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