German Pilots Union Reaches Wage Agreement With Ryanair

In a rare spot of good news for Ryanair the German workers’ union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) has agreed a wage deal with the Group. The agreement also includes multi-faceted employee protection and a reasonable indemnity against redundancy.

Ryanair jet in flight
German air-side pilots’ union Vereinigung Cockpit agrees to a deal with Ryanair. Photo: Ryanair

Writes Air Wise the agreement between Ryanair Germany and VC was agreed today September 12th. Ryanair said the agreement, “delivers a new pay structure and rosters”. The Irish carrier promises to uphold the agreement until a review of working directives in March 2023.

Good news for workers in Germany. They can now rest easy in the knowledge that their jobs are protected by law. Under the terms of the agreement, workers will also be provided with more robust legal protection. This in the event of lay-offs and base closures.

The agreement is good news too for the Group’s new CEO Michael O’Leary, who still faces the threat of industrial action elsewhere in Europe.

VC told Air Wise that the collective agreements, “leave no doubt that German law, as well as German employee protection rights, will be applicable for Ryanair pilots in Germany.

The treaty

The terms of the agreement are clearly intended to forestall either side from conflict. In the event of Ryanair’s undertaking closures or staff reductions German law now provides employees with bolstered protection.

Ryanair jet in flight
A provision to protect employees constitutes the greater part of the agreement. Photo: Ryanair

Pilots will be paid more and will benefit from better protection in case of layoffs,” a spokesperson for VC said. “The parties had agreed on future talks which would include the possible creation of a works council.

VC lawyer Tanja Viehl added, “What was agreed will mean higher basic salaries and higher net salaries, especially due to the transition to German income taxation. Additionally, the framework social plan will provide measures to soften the impact of past and possible future base reductions.”

Germany-based Ryanair pilots will soon move over to the Group’s new Maltese subsidiary, Malta Air, which is due to begin ops in 2020. Malta Air flight crews will continue to be covered by the recent collective agreements.

British and Spanish strikes

Meanwhile, Ryanair pilots based in the UK and Spain are still due to strike later this month. That is, unless similar agreements can be reached with their unions and the carrier.

Ryanair jet on taxiway
British and Spanish strikes are set to go ahead throughout September. Photo: Ryanair

If no agreement is forthcoming it looks likely that UK travelers will have late summer holidays ruined by strikes planned throughout September. Ryanair pilots are set to walk on the 18th-19th, 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th and 29th of the month.

Towards the end of last month, two-thirds of Ryanair members of the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) voted to strike. The Group promptly appealed to the High Court to prevent UK pilots from taking industrial action but the case was thrown out.

BALPA claims the strikes are a necessity after “decades” of Ryanair’s refusing to engage with the union. According to The Sun, BALPA general secretary Brian Strutton said,

Pilots in Ryanair are seeking the same kind of policies and agreements that exist in other airlines – our demands are not unreasonable.

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