Breakthrough at Ryanair

Belgian trades unions have reached a global accord with low cost airline Ryanair.  The agreement applies to all staff and comes after two years of wrangling.

Industrial action disrupted Ryanair flights during the summer of 2018 and came after thousands of flights had to be cancelled in 2017 due to lack of staff. Ryanair is one of the few success stories in aviation and saw profit margins increase year after year.  But pilots and crews were unhappy with working conditions and revolted.  After too many pilots left the company Ryanair was forced to the negotiating table.  First and agreement was reached affecting pilots.  Now a second agreement covers all staff.

The unions have ensured that Belgian and the not more flexible Irish labour laws apply, while all staff will now be treated equally.  Many employees really work for companies like Crewlink that operates much like a temping agency.  They are not actually Ryanair staff.  Such staff were treated differently: working conditions and pay were poorer.

Starting 1 April Belgian labour law will apply to all staff: further agreements on wages and working conditions are expected.  Via Crewlink Ryanair operated using zero hour contracts recruiting vulnerable staff from eastern and southern Europe where unemployment is high. This too will now end.

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