The British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) and Ryanair have concluded and signed a voluntary trade union recognition agreement. This follows Ryanair’s announcement before Christmas that it was changing its stance towards unions and was willing to enter into discussions about recognising pilots’ unions in a number of European countries, including the UK.
Those discussions have been ongoing over the past few weeks and have resulted in the agreement signed today. The agreement states that BALPA will be recognised as the sole trade union representing all of Ryanair’s 600 employed pilots based in the UK.
Brian Strutton, General Secretary of BALPA, said,
“Given Ryanair’s previous hostility towards unions, today’s agreement is an historic one. While we were initially sceptical about Ryanair’s sincerity in offering recognition to us and other unions, our conversations and meetings with them have shown that they are genuine in wanting a constructive trade union relationship.
“Our discussions in getting to a recognition agreement have been tough and required compromise on both sides.
“Today BALPA will be opening our election for five Ryanair Company Council representatives to be chosen from amongst the BALPA members employed by Ryanair. These reps will lead future negotiations on issues such as pay, hours, rostering and holidays on behalf of all our Ryanair members. We will also be opening an election for an advisory group for Ryanair contractor pilots who are not employed directly by the company.
“I want to pay tribute to the Ryanair pilots who have themselves brought about this change in attitude from Ryanair management. I also want to thank Ryanair management for their professional attitude throughout this short process.
“I am hopeful that this is the beginning of a strong and mutually beneficial relationship between BALPA and Ryanair and I urge Ryanair to agree deals with pilot unions in other countries and with cabin crew unions.”