Tuesday, 02 October 2018

Ryanair announces base closures and reductions in Germany

Three days after pilots represented by several European unions – including pilots represented by Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) – conducted strikes at Ryanair, the company announced its intention to close its Bremen base within the next five weeks. Additionally, the company is planning to reduce the size of its base in Weeze by two aircraft to only three. The company claims these measures are justified by referring (among other things) to the strikes of pilots and cabin crew members.

Vereinigung Cockpit is sharply condemning these actions and calls upon Ryanair to revert these actions.

“This threat by Ryanair can only be seen as a reaction to the strikes” said Markus Wahl, vice president of Vereinigung Cockpit. “Such a behavior is completely inacceptable and is clearly aimed at putting additional pressure on the pilots. Instead of acting in a constructive way, employees are being threatened with base closures and therefore with dismissal or transfers.”

In an earlier letter, Ryanair already threatened to close bases as a consequence of further strikes. It is obvious that this is an attempt to influence the outcome of the negotiation process. Together with the news about base closures, Ryanair also states that affected routes will be flown by pilots and aircraft based in other countries in the future.

For several months now, Vereinigung Cockpit is calling upon Ryanair to agree to an arbitration regrading collective labor agreements for working conditions and remuneration for pilots based in Germany.

“The talks concerning an arbitration agreement were already well advanced. We are still expecting an answer from Ryanair. Apparently, Ryanair is not interested in an arbitration after all” Wahl adds.

Given this situation, VC’s Ryanair Company Council renews its demand to replace the current leadership of Ryanair and for Ryanair to enter into a constructive dialogue with its employees.