Thank you to all of the pilots who have recently attended meetings or have contacted us at BALPA House regarding the recent events in Ryanair. BALPA congratulate the Ryanair pilots on the breath-taking speed of organising a pan-European campaign for unity. In many ways we are not surprised that the vast majority of the pilot community have united in such a way. The Company’s hostility towards unions is well known, so in the absence of such structures, it was inevitable the pilots themselves would form their own collective voice at some point. The ERC structures, for so many years have been used by Ryanair to ‘negotiate deals’ base by base and to segregate natural pilot groups. The use of Brookfield and Storm contract pilots exclude a huge percentage of the pilot group from ERC discussions so the demand for proper contracts of employment is certainly long overdue. BALPA, along with the other Member Associations and the European Cockpit Association support the EERC and their call to negotiate with Ryanair.
A letter to all UK ERC reps from BALPA can be found here. The same or similar letters have been sent to ERC’s across Europe. Could you please ensure that this is circulated to as many Ryanair pilots as possible. Unless your ERC reps is a member of BALPA they may not receive this directly. The BALPA National Executive Committee (the elected governing body of BALPA) met today and reaffirmed their support to all Ryanair pilots to exercise their right to organise. BALPA will speak on behalf of the Ryanair pilots in Government, Europe and the media. We will assist Ryanair members in their activity and union membership drive and facilitate meetings and events across the UK bases on request. We have been advised today that a ballot closed in STN. In response to a question ‘do you want a new ERC election’ – 90% of those who voted had voted yes. Despite this, the airline seems set on undermining any real negotiations and yet seems willing to throw money at the problem. What is needed is long term security not short-term fixes. How much value has a one-off cash payment now if the airline refuses to increase your pay, improve benefits, pensions or provide proper contracts for the next 10 years. Ryanair pilots would benefit long-term from a real negotiating structure with proper elected and trained reps. BALPA can support this – if the pilots support it. The company have inadvertently presented the pilot community with an opportunity to demand more than a short-term gain. You have the support of the whole of BALPA including 10,000 UK members and you have public opinion on your side. We support the simple and realistic demands made by the EERC. Proper contracts and a collective voice are not unreasonable. Keep unity and momentum with the EERC campaign and make base by base deals a thing of the past and demand proper contracts and a collective voice.In unity – your BALPA team