Ryanair Signs Recognition Agreement With Italy-Based Pilots

March 8, 2018

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Ryanair has signed a union recognition agreement with Italian pilot union ANPAC, the second the Irish airline has reached after the BALPA union deal in the UK.

“The agreement follows extensive negotiations with ANPAC since Ryanair’s December announcement that it was willing to recognise unions for collective bargaining purposes,” the airline said in a statement.

Ryanair offered to negotiate recognition with pilot unions in six countries - Germany, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the UK - in an attempt to head off a series of strikes across Europe during the busy holiday travel season in December.

Chief executive Michael O’Leary had been strongly opposed to union recognition, with the airline saying it would “face down” the strikes, but caved in and agreed to recognition negotiations.

Ryanair said the ANPAC agreement is significant because Italy accounts for around 80 of the airline’s 400 aircraft and 20 percent of its pilots.

“This agreement… validates the decision of Ryanair’s Board in December to recognise unions,” Chief People Officer Eddie Wilson said.

“The fact that we have delivered pay rises of up to 20 percent for most of our pilots, and union recognition agreements in our two largest markets… shows how constructive Ryanair is about developing relationships with those unions who wish to work with us and how much progress we have made in a short period of time.”

The airline said it hopes to sign more recognition deals with pilots and cabin crew unions “over the coming weeks and months.”