Published: Wed, January 31, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Ryanair does 'historic' deal with United Kingdom pilots union

Ryanair does 'historic' deal with United Kingdom pilots union

It called on other European pilot unions, including those in its home country Ireland, "to stop wasting time and act quickly to deliver 20 percent pay increases to our pilots in February, and conclude formal recognition agreements, which they are presently sitting on".

Ryanair has signed an agreement with the British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa) that formally recognises a pilots' union for the first time.

However, now the company has revealed its pilots will be represented by the union, and be given a 20 per cent pay rise.

The UK region accounts for nearly 100 of Ryanair's 400 plus current aircraft fleet and over 25% of pilot body.

The 600 United Kingdom pilots directly employed by the carrier will be represented by the British Airlines' Pilots Association, Ryanair said in a statement Tuesday.

Pilots at all Ryanair's United Kingdom bases have voted to accept Ryanair's proposed pay increase, with pilots at Stansted approving the package earlier this month.

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

The elected council representatives will then lead any future negotiations with the airline organisation, for example surrounding pay.

"We are pleased today to announce this United Kingdom recognition agreement with BALPA on behalf of our directly employed pilots in the United Kingdom", said Ryanair head of personnel Eddie Wilson.

Just as Ryanair is positive on the BALPA agreement, the union itself is equally upbeat, although, it said that talks haven't always been easy.

Eddie Wilson, Ryanair's chief people office, said that the agreement with Balpa, which was announced on Tuesday (30 January), highlighted the airline's commitment to working with the union to preserve pilots' and customers' interests.

"Given Ryanair's previous hostility towards unions, today's agreement is an historic one", Balpa General Secretary Brian Strutton said in a statement.

We are hopeful that this is the beginning of a strong and mutually beneficial relationship.

Mr Wilson castigated other bases where he said the company was "still waiting for a response to our recognition proposals" and that in some cases unions had failed to vote on the offered pay increase.

BALPA will now be recognised as the sole trade union for Ryanair's 600 employed pilots that are based in the UK.

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