Things are getting really nasty between Ryanair and its pilot union. Not a very good time, with more routes scheduled to open on July 1st.
Ryanair threatened to close two regional bases and get up to 120 pilot jobs, unless pilots in its Irish market ignore their union and directly accept a pay cut, a Reuters memo said.
Europe’s largest low-cost carrier requires wage cuts of up to 20% and changes in working practices across Europe.
He said he plans 3,000 job cuts and a reduction in unit personnel costs, but faces union resistance in several markets.
In the memo sent on Friday, Ryanair’s chief operating officer, Neal McMahon, told pilots that the union board representing Irish pilots had abandoned negotiations on Wednesday, something the Forsa union denied.
McMahon said a union request for an extension of a 30-day job cut consultation represented “stagnation tactics”.
Instead, the memo sent to the company’s internal messaging system asked pilots to click on a button to accept proposals, including a 20% cut in wages that would be reversed gradually within four years, a dissemination of the work available through work sharing and unpaid leave; and “productivity improvements”.
He said the number of job losses and whether the bases at Cork and Shannon airports would remain open would depend on the number of applicants.
A Ryanair spokeswoman said she “had nothing more to add to this memo”.
The Forsa union, in a memorandum to pilots on Friday, said Ryanair’s latest proposal is unacceptable, as it would effectively leave pilots temporarily on zero-hour contracts and provided that no job losses were avoided.
Forsa claimed to have requested mediation from third parties, but received no response.
Ryanair, which is reopening much of its network on July 1, says it needs to cut staff costs to compete with rivals that have received state aid.
Union representatives pointed to management comments on expansion opportunities that are likely to be triggered by the reduction of rivals following the COVID-19.