Sunday 19 August 2018

Ryanair and trade union to meet again this month after 'constructive' two-hour talks

Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary Photo: Bloomberg
Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary Photo: Bloomberg
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Ryanair executives and trade union Forsa will meet again later this month as they thrash out a historical negotiating framework that will later lead to talks on pilot pay and working conditions.

The two sides met on Wednesday morning for almost two hours following an initial meeting days before Christmas. That came after Ryanair dramatically said it was reversing a more than 30-year-old policy, by recognising unions across Europe.

But German pilot union Vereinigung Cockpit has warned that it may escalate strike action unless Ryanair agrees to accept whatever negotiating team the union assembles to start crunch talks that failed to get off the ground before Christmas.

In Ireland, Ryanair is negotiating with Forsa – newly formed following the merger of IMPACT and two other unions – and its Irish Airline Pilots’ Association branch.

Forsa head of communications Bernard Harbor, who is part of the union negotiating team, said today’s talks with Ryanair were constructive. He said the sides will continue working towards establishing a collective bargaining framework before addressing other matters.

“Both sides are keen to do it as quickly as possible and anxious to get a comprehensive agreement tied down,” he told the Irish Independent.

Ryanair said it does not comment on “rumour or speculation”.

Ryanair’s negotiating team consisted of its chief operations officer, Peter Bellew, and chief people officer, Eddie Wilson.

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