Sunday 22 September 2019

Ryanair pilots set to demand big pay increases as unrest continues

CEO Michael O’Leary
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 and input before finalising.

“Management will not change their approach unless we change,” the 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, that efforts to negotiate with the airline will then commence.

“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 it 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 include proposals that Ryanair captains, whether staff or contract,  receive basic pay of €150,000 per annum. Senior first officers should receive basic pay of €80,000 per annum, it adds, while junior first officers should be on basic pay of €60,000 per annum.

For captains, the proposed basic pay would be about double that being offered by Ryanair management.

The document also includes proposals that flight crew be entitled to free drinks and snacks from on-board catering while on flight duty, and that they should also be entitled to a standard crew meal for all duties exceeding five hours.

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

Last week, Ryanair pilots at London Stansted – the airline’s biggest base – rejected proposals from the airline that would have seen them receive pay increases. Ryanair pilots at Madrid have also rejected the company’s proposals.

The EERC has been receiving support from US airline unions and said more an update will be provided later this week on the support being offered by other organisations.

“We have requested support from our pilot colleagues in other airlines, and in our pilot associations,” the EERC told Ryanair pilots in the weekend letter. “We need to learn from their experience... They will support us. Please wait for further announcements on this later this week.”

Shares in Ryanair fell as much as 1.1pc this morning in Dublin, bringing them to their lowest level since about early May.

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