Ryanair Reaches Tentative Deal with Its Irish Pilots

 - August 23, 2018, 1:54 PM

Ryanair and representatives of the Fórsa union Wednesday morning reached agreement in the dispute with the low-cost carrier’s Irish pilots, who called five 24-hour strikes in recent months, though the proposed deal still needs approval from the pilots and the Ryanair board.

“The proposed agreement will now go to ballot, with a recommendation for acceptance from Fórsa and its Ryanair pilot representatives,” Fórsa, Ireland’s second largest union, said in a statement. The sides reached a consensus following a 22-hour negotiating session and four days of talks led by a third-party mediator.

In a statement on its Twitter page, Ryanair confirmed the deal and said that it will take the proposals to its board “in due course” after the Irish-based pilots have voted on the signed agreement.

Both parties remained tight-lipped on the details of the deals and noted that the facilitator asked that they make no public comment while the ballot takes place. “We will respect his wishes,” Ryanair said.

The dispute between the airline and around 100 of its 350 Ireland-based pilots centered around base transfers, seniority, and annual leave. Following the pilots’ fourth day of industrial action last month, Ryanair issued 90-day protective notices to 100 pilots and 200 cabin crew based at Dublin airport, claiming the strikes led to a fall in demand and forward bookings. The airline could remove the notices if pilots vote in favor of the agreement, Irish media reported.

Dutch airline pilots association VNV, however, appears unimpressed by the agreement, saying it could not serve as a blueprint for the deal it seeks with Ryanair. “The agreement with Fórsa covers only some elements like procedures for handling base changes and promotions. We would never accept a partial agreement,” VNV official Joost van Doesburg told AIN. “We are seeking to conclude a comprehensive collective labor agreement, covering pay, holidays, which law applies during sick leave and so on.” He said no negotiations took place since the August 10 strike by Ryanair pilots in five countries: The Netherlands, Ireland, Belgium, Germany, and Sweden. “Yes, we are considering further industrial action,” he confirmed.