Business World

Wednesday 19 December 2018

Ryanair signs German union agreement after strike

Framework: Ryanair, led by CEO Michael O’Leary, has agreed a deal that will boost German pilots’ pay and conditions. Photo: PA
Framework: Ryanair, led by CEO Michael O’Leary, has agreed a deal that will boost German pilots’ pay and conditions. Photo: PA
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Ryanair has signed a framework agreement with German pilot union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC), with a final detailed deal expected to be reached by the end of February.

In December last year, the German union called what was Ryanair's first-ever strike. Industrial action by pilots and cabin crew in other countries followed.

Germany is the last of Ryanair's biggest markets where the carrier did not already have an agreement in place.

Ryanair said that the framework agreement covers a four-year term that includes pay, pension and pilot allowances, while a separate agreement covers benefits including seniority, annual leave and base transfer systems.

German labour law will also apply to all of the carrier's pilots based in Germany.

VC said that a total of four collective labour agreements will be signed with Ryanair by March, in addition to terms and conditions that are to be defined collectively by the end of February. The union said that base pay will be restructured and formerly "very large" variable pay will be reduced, which will lead, it said, to a "significant increase in base pay". Co-pilots will receive 100pc more guaranteed base pay. Captains will receive approximately 33pc more, said VC. The union added that because applicable tax law will in future be German rather than Irish, "pilots will be subject to a substantial increase in pay starting April 1".

"By agreeing to these cornerstones, a re-entry into constructive negotiations has been enabled, after their failure last summer," said Martin Locher, the president of VC.

An agreement has also been reached to establish what VC said was a "works council" for Ryanair employees, which will introduce "co-determination" at Ryanair for the first time.

Ryanair said yesterday that it carried 10.4 million passengers in November, which was 11pc higher year-on-year.

The figure includes 300,000 flyers with Laudamotion, the Austrian carrier in which Ryanair has a 75pc stake.

Irish Independent

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