Irish airline had previously refused to recognise BALPA
In a ‘historic’ move, budget airline Ryanair has agreed to recognise a union to represent its 600 UK-based pilots for the first time. The Irish airline had previously refused to recognise British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA).
Just before Christmas, Ryanair has announced that it was willing to enter into discussions about recognising pilots’ unions in a bid to avert strikes over Christmas.
Calling today’s agreement a ‘historic one’ , BALPA general secretary Brian Strutton said: “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.
“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.”
According to media reports, BALPA will elect five union representatives who will lead future negotiations on pay, hours, rostering and holidays with the airline. It will also hold a ballot for an advisory group for contractor pilots not employed directly by Ryanair.