Ryanair announced yesterday that it has signed a deal with Unite, who will now represent UK cabin crew directly employed by the airline.

This is the first time that Ryanair’s UK cabin crew will have such representation. It will be available to about 650 members of staff who will have access to support in talks on hours, holiday and pay. Around 25% of Ryanair’s fleet works from its UK bases. The cabin crew who are employed indirectly by Ryanair through agencies will not be able to benefit from representation.

Unite, who described the agreement as “historic”, says that it has secured “full consultation rights and collective bargaining for UK cabin crew.”

This is the second agreement that Ryanair has made for its cabin crew, having already signed a deal with the ANPAC/ANPAV unions in Italy.

Ryanair has refused to recognise unions in the past but was forced to change its position late last year following thousands of flight cancellations due to a rostering error. It has already made deals with pilot unions, including Balpa in the UK.

Unite general secretary, Len McCluskey, said: “This is a historic agreement and a significant step by Ryanair. For the first time ever Ryanair’s UK cabin crew will have a recognised union in their corner to deal with workplace issues and collectively bargain on pay.”

He added: “Over the coming days and weeks Unite will be seeking similar agreements with the employment agencies which indirectly employ the remainder of Ryanair’s UK cabin crew.”

Ryanair’s chief people officer, Eddie Wilson, said: “We are pleased to sign this cabin crew recognition agreement with Unite the Union in the UK. This is a further sign of the progress Ryanair is making with trade unions since our December 2017 decision to recognise them. We hope to announce further agreements over the coming weeks, in those countries where unions have approached these negotiations in a practical and positive manner.”

He added: “We are making progress and confounding those sceptics who claimed that our decision was not real or genuine.”


Image: Ryanair

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