Talks stall between Ryanair and Irish pilots’ union

Both sides have different views on the content of the proposed agreement

 IALPA-Fórsa is seeking a basic deal whereby Ryanair acknowledges that it recognises it as the representative of pilots employed in the Republic. Photograph: Reuters

IALPA-Fórsa is seeking a basic deal whereby Ryanair acknowledges that it recognises it as the representative of pilots employed in the Republic. Photograph: Reuters

 

Recognition talks between airline Ryanair and the Irish pilots’ union have stalled on differences between the two sides on the contents of the proposed agreement.

Ryanair began talks with airline pilot associations across Europe in December after announcing it would recognise trade unions in a surprise U-turn on a long-standing policy.

Talks between Ryanair and the Irish Airline Pilots’ Association (IALPA), part of trade union Fórsa, have stalled over differences between the pair on the content of the agreement.

It is understood that Ryanair wrote to the union asking that it recognise the airline’s low-cost model and seeking agreement on areas including rostering and dispute resolution.

However, IALPA-Fórsa is seeking a basic deal whereby Ryanair acknowledges that it recognises it as the representative of pilots employed in the Republic.

The union’s response does not deal with some of the proposals made by Ryanair as its members fear that agreeing to those now could tie their hands in the future.

Instead, they want further detailed talks on those issues once recognition is agreed.

Ryanair chief people officer Eddie Wilson, in a letter dated April 13th and seen by news agency Reuters, told the union that a number of changes it had suggested to a draft agreement were “totally unacceptable now or at any time in the future”.

He also criticised the union for taking a month to respond to its proposal, saying the “glacial pace” of the talks was frustrating.

Ryanair said in a statement: “We don’t comment on our negotiations with our people”. IALPA-Fórsa would not comment as the industrial relations process is ongoing.

Ryanair recently reached agreement on recognition with the British Airline Pilots’ Association and it Italian pilots’ union. Both countries are amongst its biggest markets.

IALPA-Fórsa was one of a number of European pilots’ unions that threatened to strike shortly before Christmas, prompting Ryanair’s announcement that it would recognise unions.