Business Irish

Tuesday 23 July 2019

Threat of Ryanair strike re-emerges as airline fails to provide written assurances for union

Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary, Photo: Mark Condren
Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary, Photo: Mark Condren Business Desk Business Desk

A framework has been set up to fast-track negotiations between Ryanair and IMPACT but the union is 'disappointed' at the lack of written collective agreement by management recognising the union.

Eddie Wilson, Chief People Officer for Ryanair said today's negotiations have ended on a positive note.

He also denied allegations of victimisation and said the atmosphere today between both sides was "very good."

However, IMPACT Head of Communications Bernard Harbor, said the union was disappointed that it did not receive written guarantees of recognition from Ryanair.

Mr Harbor told RTE News that the union needed something concrete from management to show Ryanair pilots and the wider public that they really do mean business.

He added that today was not the day to talk about industrial action.

Mr Harbor said that a conclusion would need to be met before noon on Thursday.

Talks between Ryanair and the Impact union on a new working relationship began at 5pm today at Dublin Airport.

Initial talks between the airline and the trade union in coming weeks will seek to establish a framework for union representation at the carrier. Only once this has been agreed on will talks begin in earnest about pilot demands.

Talks will continue tomorrow and Thursday between the airline and trade union members from Germany and Portugal.

Impact’s negotiating team includes national secretary Angela Kirk, assistant general secretary Ashley Connolly, as well as about half a dozen Ryanair pilots.

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

While tomorrow’s strike has been called off, preventing future industrial action will depend on today’s talks securing meaningful dialogue between both sides.

Earlier today, Ryanair moved to clarify that it will recognise cabin crew unions and other EU pilot unions in 2018.

In a statement the company said that as per their historic decision to recognise unions for the first time, which was announced last Friday, they will look to meet with other unions "in due course".

"Ryanair is moving to recognise unions, starting this week with meetings with Irish, German and Portuguese pilot unions. It will lead on in the New Year to meetings with other EU pilot unions and cabin crew unions in due course as well," the company said today.

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