News Item

13 December 2017  
  

RYANAIR PILOTS ARE RIGHT TO STRIKE


RYANAIR PILOTS ARE RIGHT TO STRIKE

Pilots in Ryanair are to strike over a fundamental issue – the right of workers to bargain collectively with a trade union of their choice.

Ryanair are an anti-union firm who are as bad as William Martin Murphy when he tried to stop union recognition in 1913. But they may finally have met their match.

The pilots are members of Irish Air Line Pilots Asspciation which is now part of the IMPACT trade union. They voted by a staggering 94% to take action. The figure is one indication of the depth of their anger with a company who has continually put them under pressure in its drive for profits.,

Here are some of the tactics that Ryanair has used against its pilots:

· Fuel Loads: Ryanair set up a system to benchmark pilots against each other on their use of fuel. A twenty page table was produced with the pilots’ names, base, fuel burn, fuel target and percentage of use above or below the target.
The effect was like reading out school scores of children to pressurise them into competing with each other.
Pilots who were on precarious self–employed contracts felt the most pressure.
At a later stage Ryanair modified its system but pilots are informed when they burn more fuel than their targets and whether or not they are in the group that is considered to be burning too much.
· Pilot Hours: Pilots are only supposed to fly 900 hours in any one year due to safety concerns that might result from fatigue. But Ryanair and Aer Lingus calculated these hours from the year as starting April 1st rather than the calendar year from January 1st. This allowed them to get the maximum number of hours out of pilots during the busy summer season rather than spread evenly across the full year as required to minimise cumulative fatigue.
This caused difficulties when pilots transferred to another airline – as they had used up their legal quota of hours with Ryanair, using a different calendar year to their new employer. They also had a tendency to greater use of 5/3 rosters – five days on three days off rather than 5/4 rosters in bases where pilots did not accept the base deals offered by Ryanair.
· Sickness record Meetings: Brookfield International Aviation International is a contract company that Ryanair uses to hire in pilots. It convenes regular meetings with pilots to discuss their sick leave record in the preceding six to 12 months. These meetings are attended by Ryanair managers. Pilots reported feeling intimidated before and after such meetings. There is therefore a danger of pilots not declaring themselves unfit to fly from the fear induced by these meetings.
By joining a union and demanding that Ryanair recognise it for bargaining, the pilots are standing up for the dignity of all workers. Give them your support.
Brian Finucane
PEOPLE BEFORE PROFIT
If you want to join People Before Profit and support the fight for union rights, text JOIN to 0872839964.


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