Wednesday 17 October 2018

Being Ryanair staff rep 'was very dangerous thing' - pilot

Ryanair’s dismissal of a pilot in 2001 led others to believe that being a staff representative in the company was “a very dangerous thing”, the High Court was told. Stock image
Ryanair’s dismissal of a pilot in 2001 led others to believe that being a staff representative in the company was “a very dangerous thing”, the High Court was told. Stock image

Tim Healy

Ryanair's dismissal of a pilot in 2001 led others to believe that being a staff representative in the company was "a very dangerous thing", the High Court was told.

A former pilot being sued by the airline said: "It was described at the time as somebody having a machine gun firing it at hip level and everybody hitting the ground."

Captain John Goss was describing the aftermath of the chairman of a pilots' representative committee being fired the year after a proposed one-day strike, which was called off at the last minute.

He was giving evidence in the ongoing hearing of the airline's action against him and fellow Ryanair Pilot Group (RPG) interim council members, Evert Van Zwol and Ted Murphy. They deny defamation in an email the company says falsely inferred Ryanair misled the market.

Over Christmas 2004, Capt Goss was ordered to a disciplinary meeting alleging he had made intimidating phone calls to Stansted pilots about coming to Dublin. This was completely untrue, and made for a "highly stressful Christmas" for himself and his wife, he said.

When Ryanair was not happy with a first meeting after Christmas, there was a second meeting where the parties shook hands. However, he said annual leave was later disrupted by a letter telling him to attend another disciplinary hearing.

When he returned from holiday, he took legal proceedings over this - which, the court heard, were later settled.

He was dismissed in 2013 over comments he made on a Channel 4 TV programme criticising the Irish Aviation Authority, but not Ryanair, which the airline is separately suing him over. He is counter-suing Ryanair, over allegedly defamatory comments at a press conference in Sweden following the TV programme.

The case goes into its fifth week on Tuesday.

Irish Independent

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