Business Irish

Monday 16 July 2018

Ryanair pilots told they face watershed as unrest persists

Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary
Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Ryanair pilots have been told they now face a "significant decision" and warned that industrial action is "sometimes… the only way to bring an intransigent employer to a satisfactory agreement".

The recently-formed European Employee Representative Committee (EERC) - which comprises Ryanair pilots - has written to colleagues outlining the next course of action for the unofficial group. It has also drafted a preliminary conditions-and-pay proposal on which it is seeking pilot comment before finalising.

"Management will not change their approach unless we change," pilots have been told by the EERC.

"Our choice is simple. We can define a new approach to the type of contracts we want, how we will be treated, how we will be paid, and how we will represent ourselves."

The circular added that once pilots have reviewed the draft conditions-and-pay proposal, then efforts to negotiate with the airline will start. The negotiators will be Ryanair pilots.

"Your unity is the bargaining power that our negotiators will bring to the table," it adds.

"Our resolve, ultimately, in joint collective action across all our bases - if that becomes necessary - will decide if we get what we ask for.

"We hope we never have to use that, but we must plan for it, to be effective."

The draft conditions-and-pay terms include proposals that Ryanair captains, whether staff or contract, receive basic pay of €150,000 a year. Senior first officers should receive basic pay of €80,000 a year, it adds, while junior first officers should be on basic pay of €60,000 a year.

That would see pilots receive a greater percentage of their remuneration as basic pay.

The document also includes proposals that flight crew be entitled to free drinks and snacks from on-board catering while on flight duty.

Ryanair said it doesn't comment on "rumour or speculation".

Last week, Ryanair pilots at London Stansted - the airline's biggest base - rejected proposals from the airline that would have seen their pay increased. Ryanair pilots at Madrid have also rejected the company's proposals.

Irish Independent

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