Fewer Strikes Could Be on the Horizon as Ryanair Settles Pilot Contract Drama in Italy
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.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
- Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.