Published on Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Ryanair signs formal agreement with BALPA

Ryanair has signed a formal Union Recognition agreement with pilots' union BALPA, who will become the sole representative body for the 600 Ryanair pilots in the UK.

It comes after Ryanair's confirmed at the end of last year that it was changing its long-standing stance towards unions and was willing to enter into discussions about recognising pilots' unions in the UK and in a number of other European countries.

BALPA general secretary said it was an historic moment.

"Given Ryanair's previous hostility towards unions, today's agreement is an historic one," he said.

"While we were initially sceptical about Ryanair's sincerity in offering recognition to us and other unions, our conversations and meetings with them have shown that they are genuine in wanting a constructive trade union relationship.

"Our discussions in getting to a recognition agreement have been tough and required compromise on both sides."

He said today BALPA will be opening an election for five Ryanair Company Council representatives to be chosen from amongst the BALPA members employed by Ryanair.

These reps will lead future negotiations on issues such as pay, hours, rostering and holidays.

It will also be opening an election for an advisory group for Ryanair contractor pilots who are not employed directly by the company.

"I want to pay tribute to the Ryanair pilots who have themselves brought about this change in attitude from Ryanair management. I also want to thank Ryanair management for their professional attitude throughout this short process," he said.

"I am hopeful that this is beginning of a strong and mutually beneficial relationship between BALPA and Ryanair and I urge Ryanair to agree deals with pilot unions in other countries and with cabin crew unions."

Ryanair's chief people officer Eddie Wilson said: "This agreement validates the decision of Ryanair's Board in December to recognise unions, and the fact that we have delivered pay rises of up to 20% and union recognition for our pilots in our largest market, shows how serious Ryanair is about working constructively with unions that are willing to work constructively with us."

He said the rapid progress in the UK is in 'marked contrast' to some other EU countries where Ryanair is still waiting for a response to its recognition proposals.

"We now call on these unions to stop wasting time and act quickly to deliver 20% pay increases to our pilots in February, and conclude formal recognition agreements, which they are presently sitting on," he said.

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