Dublin 9 Aug – Ryanair is disappointed that the pilots union FÓRSA is threatening to disrupt customers’ travel plans during August when its ballot has the support of less than 25% of Ryanair’s Irish pilots.
The result of FÓRSA’s ballot shows that less than half of Ryanair’s Irish pilots are members of FÓRSA, and less than 60% of these FÓRSA members participated in the ballot with less than 25% of Ryanair’s Irish Pilots voting for industrial action. This disruption of customers’ holiday plans has no valid mandate from Ryanair’s Irish Pilots.
Since summer 2018, Ryanair and FÓRSA have engaged in a mediation process under Mr Kieran Mulvey which has delivered collective agreements on promotions, transfers, seniority and most recently (April 2019), a pay increase of up to 20% for those Irish pilots who had not agreed this 20% increase in 2018. Ryanair’s Irish pilots also enjoy a 5 on, 4 off roster (a double bank holiday every week).
On 30th July Fórsa gave an undertaking to Mediator Kieran Mulvey that they would return to mediation next week (beginning 11 Aug) with specific pay proposals, which they have failed to provide either to Ryanair or Kieran Mulvey for over 6 months now.
FÓRSA are still unable to explain what pay increase they are seeking on top of the 20% increase already agreed, at a time when Ryanair pilots resignations have dwindled to zero because Ryanair pilots are better paid than 737 competitor pilots in Norwegian (who are cutting pilot pay and jobs) and Jet2 (who have frozen pilot pay in return for improved rosters). The pay deals already agreed with FÓRSA have deliver pay increases of up to 20% at a time when Ryanair profits are falling due to higher fuel and payroll costs, with Senior Captains now earning over €200,000 p.a. for working five days on, followed by four days off. Ryanair pilots already earn 20% more than pilots in comparable 737 airlines like Norwegian.
This FÓRSA threat of industrial action has no mandate from Ryanair pilots, and is ill-timed just 10 weeks before a hard Brexit, while Ryanair is in the process of letting excess pilots go due to the Boeing MAX delivery delays. FÓRSA should continue in mediation and avoid threatening unnecessary disruptions to customers holidays and travel plans.
Ryanair now calls on FÓRSA to explain why it is announcing industrial action and customer disruptions while it is still in a mediation process, led by Mr Kieran Mulvey, under which they have yet to table any specific pay proposals. FÓRSA should now continue mediation with Ryanair instead of threatening ill-judged and ill-timed industrial action with the sole intention of creating uncertainty for customers travelling during the late August period.