Sunday, 22 July, 2018

Ryanair reaches 'historic' agreement with pilots' union

Airbus to continue to invest in Turkey Ryanair reaches 'historic' agreement with pilots' union
Russell Knight | 30 January, 2018, 22:29

RYANAIR HAS AGREED to allow the British Airline Pilots' Association (Balpa) to negotiate on issues such as pay, rostering and holidays.

Eddie Wilson, Chief People Officer at Ryanair, said the agreement has validated the airline's decision back in December to recognise unions and validates the fact they have "delivered pay rises of up to 20%" and shows "how serious Ryanair is about working constructively with unions that are willing to work constructively with [them]".

"Given Ryanair's previous hostility towards unions, today's agreement is an historic one", said BALPA's general secretary, Brian Strutton.

"While we were initially sceptical about Ryanair's sincerity in offering recognition to us and other unions".

Mr Wilson also said the EU-based pilots' unions it has approached are "wasting time" in not delivering the 20% pay rise to pilots, making an example of Dublin, where 35% of pilots are yet to accept the increase.

Earlier in January, the Irish budget airline said all of its United Kingdom pilots had agreed to accept a 20% rise in their paychecks, after pilots based at its biggest United Kingdom operation, London Stansted, initially had rejected the deal.

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The deal marks progress in Ryanair's effort to quell labor unrest and improve relations with pilots who threatened to strike past year to gain union recognition. "I also want to thank Ryanair management for their professional attitude throughout this short process", he said.

"Balpa will be opening our election for five Ryanair Company Council representatives to be chosen from amongst the Balpa members employed by Ryanair".

Ryanair's decision marks a historic turning point for the company, according to industry analysts.

However, he came intense pressure to change his stance after the airline was forced to cancel thousands of flights for the winter season between November 2017 and March 2018.

Independent aviation analyst John Strickland described Tuesday's announcement as "a major strategic change for Ryanair".

Last autumn what Ryanair called "a flawless storm of one-off pilot shortages" caused the cancellation of around 20,000 flights through the winter. It has been under no legal obligation to recognise them.

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