Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Ryanair bully Irish staff again - threatening to relocate planes away from bases where staff take strike action

The Irish based Ryanair has made another bold move to bully its staff into accepting a deal in a  series of disputes over pay and conditions.

The airline is threatening to axe more than 300 cabin crew and pilot jobs from its main Irish base in the dispute that has been dragging on for months. The low-cost high-fee airline has already said it will cut the number of aircraft in Dublin from 30 to 24 for this coming winter season. The budget airline, whose boss Michael O'Leary thinks pilots are just glorified bus drivers, has already issued the mandatory 90-day consultation redundancy notice to 100 pilots and over 200 cabin crew, saying they won't be required after the end of October. 

Peter Bellew from Ryanair said, "We regret these base aircraft reductions at Dublin for winter 2018, but the board has decided to allocate more aircraft to those markets where we are enjoying strong growth (such as Poland)." What he didn't say is the company is planning to base more aircraft in places where wages are a lot lower and where the airline doesn't recognise pilot or cabin crew unions. 

Bellew warned staff at other bases that are taking industrial action,  "If our reputation for reliability or forward bookings is affected, then base and potential job cuts such as these at Dublin are a deeply regretted consequence."

The once proud Irish airline has said that it has had to cancel 600 flights as a result of industrial action taken by cabin crew in Spain, Portugal, Belgium and Italy on Wednesday and Thursday. The cabin crew want the same conditions for contracted in staff as the normal airline staff as well as having the same employment rights as applicable to the country that they are based in, rather than those of Ireland, which is currently the case. 

Monique Duthiers Sparre from the Spanish Sitcpla union said they would not be cowered by Ryanair's bullying tactics, "Sincerely, it is a threat because that is Ryanair's style but that does not frighten us at all,"

"These actions are designed to frighten and bully staff into keeping quiet, to not stand up for their rights, to accept the unequal pay and conditions, it's nothing short of a draconian workhouse management mentality." a leading employment rights lawyer told us on Wednesday. Advising that the company has seen a slight drop in profits over the first quarter of the year and are seeking to minimise disruption by disgruntled staff. The good news for flight crews is there is a global shortage of pilots at the moment, so there are plenty of other opportunities available, especially if they are agreeable to relocate. 

Ryanair recently published a heavily redacted half of payslips on its website to indicate how much of a good deal it says its pilots are on, however it conveniently cut off the reduction side of the payslip and refused to comment on the seniority of the pilots concerned, leading many to believe it was not indicative of the general flying workforce. 

There is also speculation in the industry that Wizz Air may be planning a big base set up in the Irish capital from next summer. Some say one of the fastest growing airlines in Europe will base up to 10 aircraft in Dublin.