Ryanair recognises cabin crew trade union for collective pay bargaining

ryanair pay bargaining

Ryanair has signed a voluntary trade union recognition agreement with Unite to enable collective pay bargaining.

The agreement, announced on Monday 11 June 2018, recognises Unite as the trade union representation for approximately 650 directly employed cabin crew staff, operating out of Ryanair’s UK airport bases at Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Leeds Bradford, Liverpool, London Stansted, Luton, Manchester and Prestwick.

This means that the union will be able to negotiate and have full consultation rights on matters such as pay, working hours and holidays on behalf of its members.

Three Unite representatives at Ryanair will form a negotiating committee. They will be given paid, rostered time off to fulfil these union duties.

Ryanair recognised the British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) in January 2018 as the sole trade union representation for the airline’s 600 directly employed, UK-based pilots.

Eddie Wilson, chief people officer at Ryanair, said: “We are pleased to sign this cabin crew recognition agreement with Unite the Union in the UK. This is a further sign of the progress Ryanair is making with trade unions since our December 2017 decision to recognise them. We hope to announce further agreements over the coming weeks, in those countries where unions have approached these negotiations in a practical and positive manner. We are making less progress in some smaller countries where minor issues, such as days off for union officials, are unnecessarily delaying agreements.

“However, as this growing number of pilot and cabin crew recognition agreements confirms, we are making progress and confounding those sceptics who claimed that our December 2017 decision was not real or genuine. We look forward to working closely with both Unite the Union and their [organisation] council to address issues of concern to our UK-based cabin crew.”

Len McCluskey, general secretary at Unite, added: “This is a historic agreement and a significant step by Ryanair. For the first time ever, Ryanair’s UK cabin crew will have a recognised union in their corner to deal with workplace issues and collective bargaining on pay. I’d urge all UK-based Ryanair cabin crew to join Unite and be part of one of the biggest trade unions in the world representing airline [employees].

“I would like to thank all those involved in securing this agreement, which shows what can be achieved by patient, determined negotiation. Over the coming days and weeks, Unite will be seeking similar agreements with the employment agencies which indirectly employ the remainder of Ryanair’s UK cabin crew. Unite looks forward to building a positive relationship with Ryanair that benefits passengers and [employees] alike.”