Ryanair, unions, talks, Ireland, pilots

Ryanair scales first of many hurdles

The airline settles a dispute with Irish pilots after a 22-hour session, but more issues need to be tackled.

After a 22-hour-long session of talks, one of Ryanair’s conflicts with striking staff appears to have ended. But other disputes across Europe remain to be solved.

The low-cost carrier’s pilots employed in Ireland staged five one-day strikes over seniority and base transfers during the summer.

The negotiations with the union Fórsa in Dublin concluded with the union announcing, “Agreement has been reached between Fórsa and Ryanair in the pilots’ dispute.”

The proposed agreement will now go to a vote, with a recommendation for acceptance from Fórsa and its Ryanair pilot representatives – a process that may take another two weeks.

Strike danger
But a wide range of grievances remain for Ryanair to settle with various groups of pilots and crew over pay and conditions.

A coordinated strike by pilots in Sweden, Germany, Belgium and Ireland on August 10 forced the cancellation of 400 flights, hitting 70,000 passengers.

Meanwhile, cabin crew from Spain, Portugal and Belgium organised a two-day strike in July, which grounded 600 flights.

“There may be a push for legacy-type working conditions which if acceded to could decrease the productivity of pilots, increase costs and have an adverse effect on profitability,” the airline has warned investors.

“Ryanair intends to retain its low fare high people productivity model; however, there may be periods of labour unrest as unions challenge the existing high productivity model which may have an adverse effect on customer sentiment and profitability.”

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