Ryanair Does About Turn on Recognition of Pilots’ Union

Ryanair, pilloried for the cancellation of hundreds of flights during the winter schedule, including the Belfast-Gatwick service, has done an about turn and signed a formal Union Recognition agreement with BALPA (British Airline Pilots Association)

Ryanair had always resisted organised employee unions but now BALPA will be the sole representative body for Ryanair employed pilots in the UK.

The agreement follows extensive negotiations with BALPA since Ryanair’s December announcement that it was willing to recognise Unions for collective bargaining purposes.

Ryanair’s Eddie Wilson described the progress with pilots in the UK as “rapid” compared to some other EU countries where Ryanair is still waiting for a response to its recognition proposals, and where some unions have failed to put the pay increases to its pilots. He said that the airline was calling on those unions to “stop wasting time and to act quickly to deliver pay increases.”

He said that in Dublin, where 35 per cent of its pilots had not received the pay increase, the low-fares airline had warned the Irish Airline Pilots Association that it would offer (the increase) to the pilots individually if they refuse/fail to organise a vote on the pay increase on or before tomorrow, January 31.

“Today’s agreement between Ryanair and BALPA shows that Ryanair can work with unions that wish to work with us to promote the interests of both our pilots and our customers,” Mr Wilson said.

During the period that the recognition negotiations were continuing with BALPA, the six remaining Ryanair UK Bases (including Stansted) voted – in secret ballot -– to accept pay increases of up to 20pc, which had already been agreed by a majority (nine) of other UK bases.

Ryanair now claims that its UK pilots are earning 20 per cent more than competitor 737 pilots.w