Ryanair regrets “unnecessary” 4-hour German strike by Vereinigung Cockpit on Friday 22 December

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Vereinigung Cockpit warning strike at Ryanair after unsatisfactory negotiations

On Friday, December 22, 2017, from 5:01 am to 8:59 am local time, all pilots directly employed by Ryanair will be called to strike. All flights that are planned by German airports during this period will be affected.

This weeks’ negotiations for Ryanair pilots’ in Germany ended without any results. Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) will now be carrying out industrial action at Ryanair for the first time. On Friday, December 22, 2017, from 5:01 am to 8:59 am local time, all pilots directly employed by Ryanair will be called to strike. All flights that are planned by German airports during this period will be affected.

VC’s initial negotiation talks with the Irish company, which were scheduled for yesterday, were cancelled at short notice by the employer because he rejected two of the five VC company council members present at the negotiating table. From VCs’ point of view, this refusal clearly shows that the principles of trade union autonomy are disregarded by Ryanair and that the company does not truly desire to enter into constructive negotiations.

Ryanair’s public offer to conduct negotiations with VC can only be classified as a further publicity stunt“, said Ingolf Schumacher, head of VCs’ Industrial Department. “In the history of the VC, there has never been a case in which the collective bargaining autonomy has been trampled on by an employer as it is now the case with Ryanair. This makes it clear to VC that the company is not interested in a mutually constructive cooperation, based on trust and equality. Rather, Ryanair is trying to win time and attempting to delay the beginning of collective bargaining,” Schumacher said.

VC regrets the impact on affected passengers, cabin crew and ground crew. Passengers may wish to contact Ryanair directly regarding their flight schedule, only Ryanair will be able to ascertain which flights will be operated.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

 

The Ryanair response

Ryanair sincerely regrets receiving notice of a threatened 4-hour pilot strike (from 5 am to 9 am) in Germany tomorrow Fri 22 Dec. This disruption called by Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) pilot union is unjustified and unnecessary when Ryanair wrote earlier this morning to VC (copy attached) agreeing to meet them again in Frankfurt as requested on Friday 5 Jan 2018 to progress the negotiations on a Collective Labour Agreement (CLA) for Germany.

At Ryanair’s meeting with the VC and their Ryanair Pilots Council on Wed 20 Dec, the VC confirmed that the Ryanair Pilots Council had not been elected by Ryanair’s pilots, and contained one former contract pilot who had not flown for Ryanair for 15 months, who is currently in litigation with Ryanair in Germany. Ryanair explained that it was happy to negotiate with its German pilots and the VC officials but it would not enter into negotiations with non-Ryanair pilots or a non-Ryanair pilot who is in litigation with Ryanair.

Ryanair has written to its German pilots this afternoon asking them to work as normal tomorrow to avoid disrupting the travel plans of thousands of German passengers during Christmas week. Ryanair will continue to engage with the VC union and its German pilots to try to agree on a CLA in early January, so tomorrow’s 4 hour strike serves no purpose other than to disrupt thousands of German passengers in Christmas week solely, so that the VC can impose a non-elected, non-Ryanair pilot (who is currently suing the airline) on its Ryanair Pilots Council.

Ryanair’s Robin Kiely said:

“Ryanair apologises sincerely to any German customers worried or affected by this threatened 4-hour strike tomorrow morning. We hope that our German pilots will put the needs of our customers first during Christmas week. We advise all customers in Germany to turn up as normal tomorrow, as we plan to operate all scheduled flights, and we will be doing our utmost to minimise any disruptions to the Christmas travel plans of our German customers.”

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Comment: Maybe unionised German Ryanair pilots are still afraid of reprisals? And maybe do they want firm engagements rather than promises of negotiations?

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