Business Irish

Monday 23 September 2019

Italian aviation union latest to back Ryanair pilots' collective bargaining push

National aviation unions in Ireland, Italy, Germany, Portugal and Sweden now have Ryanair company councils formed under their auspices. More are set to follow suit, it's understood. Photo: Bloomberg
National aviation unions in Ireland, Italy, Germany, Portugal and Sweden now have Ryanair company councils formed under their auspices. More are set to follow suit, it's understood. Photo: Bloomberg
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Italian civil aviation union Anpac is the latest European aviation union to see a new Ryanair company council established under its umbrella with the intention of negotiating a collective labour agreement with the Irish carrier.

National aviation unions in Ireland, Italy, Germany, Portugal and Sweden now have Ryanair company councils formed under their auspices. More are set to follow suit, it's understood.

"We are pleased to advise you that Ryanair pilots based in Italy have decided to form the Ryanair Company Council in Anpac," the Italian union's international director Riccardo Canestrari told Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary in a letter.

Ten Ryanair staff pilots have been named in the letter as being the members of the new company council in Italy. Ryanair said that it doesn't comment on union correspondence.

The new councils are designed to put pressure on management to begin talks on national and pan-European collective labour agreements at the airline. It's something Ryanair and Mr O'Leary have already opposed, and will undoubtedly continue to strenuously do so.

A new European Employee Representative Committee (EERC) was formed during the fallout from Ryanair's recent pilot rostering debacle. The EERC wants to be a single representative body for Ryanair pilots across Europe.

But Ryanair management have refused to recognise the EERC and any efforts at wider collective representation at the carrier, which is non-unionised and does not recognise unions.

It currently relies on a system of Employee Representative Committees (ERCs) at each of its almost 90 bases.

It negotiates pay and conditions with each of them on an individual basis.

The structure was established by the airline, which points out that the ERCs have been recognised by the Supreme Court as a legitimate means to engage with pilots.

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