A week is certainly a long time in Ryanair world these days, with CEO apologies and offers to do deals that equal Jet2 and Norwegian. We would have also liked to have seen easyJet, TUI and BA Short Haul included in Michael’s benchmarking analysis but we guess you were never going to be that lucky. Also in the news of course is Ryanair’s Chief Operations Officer, who has decided to resign, the airline announced last week. On a more industrial matter, the European Member Associations have been working with the ECA to put this short briefing together. Firstly, let us thank you for organising the many meetings that have taken place over the past few weeks and thanks also to the hundreds of pilots who have contacted BALPA. Our membership in Ryanair has risen and we would like to welcome our newest members to BALPA. You have joined your union at a very interesting time to say the least. Like all of the Member Associations, BALPA believes that every professional pilot is entitled to a collective voice, meaningful negotiations and proper contracts of employment. Without these basics, pilots will naturally leave to more tradition airlines with a more conventional and productive approach to employee relations. There is an understandable strong desire from across the Ryanair network to reject the local ERC’s as this structure was the creation of Ryanair and not the pilots themselves. However, this structure is the only one we have in the immediate term. We support the call for pilots to run elections for new ERC representatives and call upon Ryanair to respect such a basic democratic demand. We further support the pilots to then elect delegates to the newly formed European ERC. When this is done, the base ERC should advise Ryanair that the EERC is the sole and exclusive representative body for Ryanair pilots. The EERC will then be the designated collective voice for all Ryanair pilots. At this point, the EERC should be the only body to reply to future offers.Many colleagues will have experienced the tactics Ryanair are deploying at present. Local base ‘deals’ are designed to break the unity that has spread like wildfire across Europe. There is only one way to achieve long-term success in Ryanair, that is for the pilots to build on what they have successfully put in place. Any imposed improvements made by Ryanair today can easily be taken back without your agreement tomorrow. The Company’s future success is dependent on its pilots and the pilots having the ability to resolve their grievances and to hold real negotiations. The pilots have the ability to force change and at this point in time, a centralized EERC supported by the Member Associations is the best means to achieve this.
Please pass this newsletter onto your colleagues and encourage them to join BALPA if they are not already a member.
In unity – in strength,
Your BALPA team