Wednesday 17 January 2018

Call for assessor to examine CityJet's books in dispute

Pat Byrne, Founder and Chairman Cityjet
Pat Byrne, Founder and Chairman Cityjet

Gordon Deegan

The Labour Court has recommended an independent assessor looks at CityJet's books in the dispute between the airline and a number of its pilots.

The court has recommended that the independent assessor be tasked with verifying to the pilots' union Unite the financial position of CityJet as outlined in the airline's submission to the court.

The independent assessor will also be tasked with costing Unite's claim and setting out the value and cost of the CityJet offer.

The Labour Court has also stated that the independent assessor should set out the value and cost of CityJet's offer so that the Unite members will be helped to understand fully the value to them of that offer and its cost to CityJet.

The court also ruled that the cost of the independent assessor should be borne by CityJet, which was founded by Pat Byrne.

CityJet has told the Labour Court that it is in a challenging but improving financial situation and as such is being constrained in its ability to absorb cost increases sought by the Unite pilots.

In response, Unite told the court it did not accept that CityJet is challenged in relation to the cost of dealing with its claim and stated that it had not been given an opportunity to have the company's assertions on its financial position independently verified.

In all of these circumstances, the court stated that it found it extremely difficult to address the extensive detail and scope of the trade union's claim and the company's offer document resulting in its recommendation to have the independent assessor appointed.

The Labour Court stated that the assessor process should be completed within four weeks of the date of the recommendation.

It said that at that point, the parties should engage - with the assistance of the Workplace Relations Commission if necessary - for a period of no more than six weeks, to find agreement on the matters before the court.

Last November, planned strike action by Unite pilots over a 13-day period was deferred.

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