Wednesday 16 January 2019

Pilot union 'won't be hoodwinked' into signing Ryanair deal

Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Ryanair is coming under growing pressure from unions in Spain, Sweden and Ireland that are increasingly unhappy with the way in which negotiations regarding collective agreements are progressing.

The Ryanair company council formed under the auspices of Spain's pilot union, Sepla, has told its members that it won't be "rushed or hoodwinked" into signing a collective labour agreement with the airline that does not cover "all bases and all scenarios".

It has also claimed that communication from Ryanair has been "sporadic" and from varying channels.

Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary has already warned he expects the airline to be threatened with industrial action in the coming weeks, possibly over Easter.

The Spanish Ryanair company council under Sepla expects to meet airline management in Madrid this week to hold talks on developing a collective labour agreement.

Spain is one of Ryanair's biggest markets.

The council told pilots that Ryanair has indicated that it wants to conclude a collective labour agreement (CLA) at that meeting.

But the union council has warned such negotiations "can take months and sometimes up to one or two years".

"There is no doubt that we are moving towards a CLA in Spain for pilots. However, we will not be rushed or hoodwinked into signing a CLA that doesn't cover all bases and all scenarios that pilots are faced with on a daily basis," the council said.

The Ryanair company council in Sweden has written to Ryanair's chief operations officer Peter Bellew and chief people officer Eddie Wilson urging them to engage in collective negotiations with all relevant unions across Europe.

The union council claimed that Ryanair is "missing an opportunity to foster the trust and respect" the council wants "to build with Ryanair on behalf of its pilots".

"We are surprised the opportunity to engage collectively with the unions on some basic matters that are common to all pilots in Ryanair, wherever they may be based, has not been embraced," said the council in the letter to the two executives.

A Ryanair spokesperson said: "We don't comment on our discussions with our people or their union representatives."

Irish Independent

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