Tuesday 23 October 2018

Ryanair to meet union again as German pilots threaten strike

Ryanair began the new year with the huge challenge of negotiating collective bargaining structures with unions across Europe, and then hammering out pay deals and conditions, first with pilots and eventually with cabin crew and other workers. Photo: Getty Images
Ryanair began the new year with the huge challenge of negotiating collective bargaining structures with unions across Europe, and then hammering out pay deals and conditions, first with pilots and eventually with cabin crew and other workers. Photo: Getty Images
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 yesterday 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 (Ialpa) branch.

Forsa head of communications Bernard Harbor, who is part of the union negotiating team, said yesterday's talks with Ryanair were constructive.

He said the sides would 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 did not comment on "rumour or speculation".

The airline's negotiating team consisted of its chief operations officer, Peter Bellew, and chief people officer, Eddie Wilson.

Ryanair began the new year with the huge challenge of negotiating collective bargaining structures with unions across Europe, and then hammering out pay deals and conditions, first with pilots and eventually with cabin crew and other workers.

Today, Mr Bellew and another member of the airline's human resources team will meet the British Airline Pilots' Association at Heathrow airport.

Irish Independent

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