Ryanair shares fall, airline asks Irish pilots to bypass unions in pay deal

Ryanair shares are in the red Friday, as the budget airline has requested union member pilots to accept a pay rise without union support for the deal.

Ryanair shares fall, airline asks Irish pilots to bypass unions in pay deal

Ryanair shares are in the red Friday, as the budget airline has requested its Irish pilots to accept a pay rise without union support. Back in December, the Irish airline agreed to recognise unions for the first time in its history, however, discussions have so far met with mixed success.

By 1425 BST, Ryanair shares were trading 0.06% lower at €16.41. The Ryanair stock has been climbing steadily after reaching a low of €14.21 around mid-December.

Ryanair pay negotiations

Ryanair is currently in pilot pay negotiations with its Irish-based pilots. Some 65% of those pilots aren’t represented by a union and they have accepted Ryanair’s proposed pay rise. The 35% who are represented by the Irish Air Line Pilots Association – IALPA – have not.

This response has led Ryanair to write directly to the union member pilots and request they accept the pay offer, regardless of IALPA’s views. According to a Reuters report, IALPA/FORSA said its members voted to reject the pay offer until Ryanair confirms doing so won’t impact future pay discussions.

However, Ryanair said in a statement that the Irish union hadn’t given its members the opportunity to vote on the pay offer.

"We will not stand idly by while they (FORSA/IALPA) delay and mislead our Dublin pilots," Ryanair said in a statement.

Ryanair’s difficult union relationships

While Ryanair has said it will recognise pilots unions and has achieved a formal agreement with the British pilots union, BALPA, the budget airline still has some way to go to honour that announcement.

Other European pilots unions are unhappy with the Ryanair talks and according to reports, unions from across Europe have contacted Ryanair to arrange a joint meeting with the management to discuss the issue. A request Ryanair is reported to have refused.

In the meantime, Ryanair reported separately that the number of customers that flew with the airline in January, rose 6% to 9.3 million from 8.8 million in January 2017.

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