Ryanair Calls On Forsa To Remove Aer Lingus Pilot From The Process If Further Strikes Are To Be Avoided

27 Jul 2018

Ryanair today (27 July) called on the FORSA union to remove Aer Lingus pilot, Captain Evan Cullen, from interfering in the negotiation between Ryanair, Forsa, and Ryanair pilots.

Ryanair has already submitted written proposals to FORSA agreeing to master seniority list for its Irish pilots, base transfers, and annual leave proposals, and these written proposals agree all 9 of the 11 FORSA requirements. There’s only 2 left that FORSA can’t explain because they contradict each other and damage Irish pilots (see attached).

Ryanair believes that FORSA is not in control of this process. FORSA is being misled by, and deferring to, an Aer Lingus pilot for decisions in this process, which helps to explain why Ryanair has signed recognition agreements with bigger unions in the UK, Italy, and Germany, but has made no progress in Ireland with a small group (just 25%) of Irish pilots.

To date, Ryanair has suffered 3 days of strikes by 25% of its Irish pilots. Instead of accepting Ryanair’s invitation to meet on Wed, FORSA called a 4th strike day (next Friday 3rd August). Ryanair has seen a downturn in air fares and forward bookings in Ireland. The direct beneficiary of these actions has been Aer Lingus, the company, which employs Captain Evan Cullen as a pilot. Ryanair’s Irish business, and Irish jobs are being damaged by this competitor pilot, and Aer Lingus is the direct beneficiary of his actions.

A Ryanair spokesperson said:

The reason Ireland is the only country where Ryanair hasn’t made progress on union recognition is because the process is being organised by an Aer Lingus pilot. FORSA are not in control, because they are deferring to an Aer Lingus pilot on issues that affect Ryanair pilots. It’s time that FORSA removed the interference of this Aer Lingus pilot and got down to serious negotiations on behalf of Ryanair pilots with Ryanair.

In other European countries, the unions have gone to great lengths to ensure that competitor pilots are not involved in Ryanair’s union negotiations. In Ireland, FORSA have failed to remove Aer Lingus pilots from the process, which is like a Dunnes Stores Manager negotiating with Tesco’s on behalf of Tesco’s workers. It simply wouldn’t happen, yet FORSA are allowing it with Ryanair. We respectfully disagree with FORSA’s denial that “any Aer Lingus pilots are involved in the industrial dispute at Ryanair”.

To prove this point, Ryanair publishes (attached) clear evidence of Aer Lingus Captain Evan Cullen’s involvement in this process. He wrote to Dublin Airport back in June warning them of “a series of one or two day strikes (by Ryanair pilots) during the months of July and August”- even before any Ryanair strike ballot was concluded -, and this threat has now been carried out. Captain Cullen also asked the DAA to contact him “directly” if they require any further info. No progress can be made to resolve this matter until FORSA removes this Aer Lingus pilot from interfering in this dispute. FORSA must solely represent the Ryanair pilot’s interests of Ryanair pilots and not the interests of Aer Lingus pilots and their employer Aer Lingus, where bookings benefit directly from Ryanair pilot strikes in Ireland.”