Thursday 17 January 2019

Union and Ryanair management open talks on recognition

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

John Mulligan

Trade union Fórsa - newly created from the merger between Impact and two other unions - will meet Ryanair executives today to begin talks aimed at establishing a collective bargaining framework for pilots at the airline.

The establishment of that framework will eventually be followed by negotiations regarding pay and conditions.

Ryanair is also set to meet German and British pilot unions this week. Before Christmas, a meeting with Italian union Anpac was pencilled in for next week.

This morning's meeting in Dublin comes just two weeks after a threatened strike by Ryanair staff pilots in Ireland, who are members of the Irish Airline Pilots' Association (IALPA) was called off. IALPA is a branch of Fórsa.

The industrial action was averted after the airline gave Impact written assurance that the carrier recognised the union for collective-bargaining purposes.

Today's meeting is expected to be attended by Ryanair chief operations officer Peter Bellew and the airline's chief people officer, Eddie Wilson.

The same union team that was at the meeting before Christmas is also expected to attend.

That included head of communications Bernard Harbor, national secretary Angela Kirk, and assistant general secretary Ashley Connolly.

"The purpose of the meeting is to commence negotiations on a comprehensive recognition agreement," Mr Harbor told the Irish Independent.

"I do not expect a conclusive outcome tomorrow (Wednesday), as this is likely to be the first in a number of engagements.

"Our hope is that the meeting will mark the start of a standard industrial-relations process between management and the union at the company."

Ryanair dramatically announced before Christmas that it would recognise unions for pilots and cabin crews in Ireland, Spain, Portugal, the UK, Germany and Italy.

Mr Bellew told Ryanair pilots at London Stansted just days before Christmas that he's aiming to make the airline a "tremendous" place to work in again.

Irish Independent

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