This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Ryanair, the low-cost carrier that has been plagued with pilots’ strikes across Europe this summer, has finally settled the work conditions dispute in one country: Italy.
The agreement, announced on Tuesday, marks the first time the Dublin-based airline has settled with any labor union in its 30-year history. The details of the collective labor agreement signed with the Italian Airline Pilots Association were not immediately disclosed. Italy accounts for 20% of Ryanair’s fleet and pilots.
Throughout the summer, Ryanair pilots have been striking and demanding higher wages and better work conditions. In addition to the carrier’s Italian pilots, cockpit crew members in Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Belgium and Germany all participated in the demonstrations, too. The walkouts snarled hundreds of flights throughout Europe and left tens of thousands of passengers stranded.
The labor unions organizing the strike claim that “employees are hired by Ryanair or its subsidiaries under contracts governed by countries where they are not based, reducing their leave allowances, causing wage disparities and impeding the workers’ access to state benefits,” the AP reported in July.
Up until the agreement was signed, the budget airline maintained that its flight crews had fair work conditions and salaries.
“We welcome this first CLA with our Italian pilots and hope that it will be shortly followed by a similar agreement covering our Irish pilots,” Eddie Wilson, Ryanair’s chief people officer, said in a statement. “We have invited our UK, German and Spanish unions to meet with us in the coming days so that we can negotiate and hopefully agree similar pilot CLAs in these other larger markets. These agreements demonstrate the real progress being made by Ryanair in its negotiations with its pilots and their unions across different EU markets.”
The other European Ryanair pilots’ unions held a meeting in Frankfurt last week and decided to hold more strikes but have yet to announce a date for the demonstrations, according to the Financial Times.
As a response to the strikes, Ryanair announced in July it would reduce its fleet at its Dublin base by 20% this winter (down from 30 aircraft to 24), with about 100 pilots and 200 cabin crew members facing potential layoffs.
The low-cost carrier only began to recognize labor unions for the first time in December 2017 in order to avoid another pilot strike during the busy holiday travel season.
Featured image by SILAS STEIN/AFP/Getty Images.
Know before you go.
News and deals straight to your inbox every day.
The Business Platinum Card from American Express offers 40,000 bonus Membership Rewards® points as well as a slew of other valuable benefits like lounge access, hotel elite status and a digital subscription to The Times and The Sunday Times for Primary and Platinum Supplementary Cardmembers.
- Earn 40,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend £6k in your first 3 months of Card Membership
- Up to 99 free Supplementary Cards - one complimentary Platinum Employee Cards and 98 Complimentary Gold Employee Cards
- Global Lounge Collection - Access to more than 1,200 airport lounges across 130 countries, including The Centurion® Lounges and membership of Priority Pass™
- Hotel Status at Hilton, Marriott Bonvoy™, Meliá Hotels International, Radisson Hotel Group, Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts – enjoy benefits such as complimentary upgrades, early check-in and late check-out, enhanced loyalty points, complimentary Wi-Fi and more
- The Times and The Sunday Times annual digital subscription (£312 value per Card) – available for Primary and all Supplementary Cardmembers
- Fine Hotels and Resorts – Enjoy a collection of over 1,000 hand-selected iconic 5-star properties worldwide. Receive complimentary benefits worth an average total value of £400 per stay.*
- £150 statement credit for every booking with onefinestay (unlimited use)
- Dedicated Account Management Team