Monday 17 December 2018

Ryanair pilots and cabin crew in Italy to strike this December

Michael O'Leary
Michael O'Leary
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Italy’s Anpac trade union has said that Ryanair pilots and cabin crew in the country, who are members of the union, intend to strike for four hours on December 15.

The civil aviation union has notified the airline and the Italian government of the planned strike.

The notice of strike action from Anpac comes as Ryanair pilots around Europe step up action in an effort to force the carrier to engage in collective bargaining across its almost 90 bases.

Anpac has informed the relevant government departments in Italy that Ryanair pilots and cabin crew will strike between 1pm and 5pm on December 15 as they seek to negotiate a collective labour agreement and address other matters including social security issues.

The notice of strike action comes after Portuguese aviation union Spac notified Ryanair yesterday that the union now has a mandate from Ryanair pilots there to negotiate a collective labour agreement with Ryanair.

A vote by Ryanair pilots in Portugal also gave Spac a mandate to call for industrial action, up to and including strike action.

It’s understood that other European pilot unions are also in the process of seeking mandates from Ryanair pilots to initiate possible industrial action.

Ryanair pilots have intensified efforts to unionise and secure a collective labour agreements since a rostering debacle that forced the airline to cancel thousands of flights and ground aircraft.

But the airline, headed by chief executive Michael O’Leary, has continued to resist call to engage with unions, as well as a newly-formed European Employee Representative Committee (EERC).  The EERC wants to be a single representative body for Ryanair pilots across Europe. Ryanair negotiates pay and conditions on an individual basis with each of its bases.

Ryanair is non-unionised and is entitled under law not to recognise unions in its workplace.

Last month, Anpac’s international director, Riccardo Canestrari, wrote to Mr O’Leary to inform him that a new Ryanair company council has been established under the union’s umbrella with the intention of negotiating a collective labour agreement with the Irish carrier.

A number of other Ryanair company councils have been established under the auspices of aviation unions in other European countries, including in Ireland

Ryanair HR manager Robert Wall wrote to the Italian labour ministry last month. He told them that the airline’s current system of negotiating agreements with individual councils across its bases had “delivered multi-year collective agreements for our people with pay increases, unrivalled time off and job security at a time when Italian airlines and unions are cutting jobs and freezing or cutting pay”.

He added that Ryanair representatives would be willing to meet Italian labour ministry’s office to outline the airline’s position.

“However, we will not be attending any meeting in which any Italian union is present,” he added.

“We are pleased to advise you that Ryanair pilots based in Italy have decided to form the Ryanair Company Council in Anpac,” the Italian union’s international director, Riccardo Canestrari told Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary in a letter.

Online Editors

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