The British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) and Ryanair signed a voluntary trade union recognition agreement.
The breakthrough came after Ryanair’s announcement before Christmas that it was changing its stance towards unions and was willing to enter into discussions about recognising pilots’ unions in a number of European countries, including the UK.
Those discussions resulted in an agreement which states that BALPA will be recognised as the sole trade union representing all of Ryanair’s 600 employed pilots based in the UK.
General secretary Brian Strutton said: “Given Ryanair’s previous hostility towards unions, today’s agreement is an historic one. While we were initially sceptical about Ryanair’s sincerity in offering recognition to us and other unions, our conversations and meetings with them have shown that they are genuine in wanting a constructive trade union relationship.”
The union will be now open an election for five Ryanair Company Council representatives to be chosen from among the BALPA members employed by Ryanair. These reps will lead future negotiations on issues such as pay, hours, rostering and holidays on behalf of all BALPA’s Ryanair members.
In addition, BALPA has begun the process of electing an advisory group for Ryanair contractor pilots who are not employed directly by the company.