Belfast Telegraph

Italian union offers to meet discontented Ryanair staff

By John Mulligan

Ryanair pilots and cabin crew have been invited by one of Italy's biggest unions to a meeting in Rome today in an effort to organise the staff under its umbrella, it can be revealed.

The move is a serious escalation of the simmering discontent among Ryanair's pilots as the airline continues efforts to restore a normal flight schedule amid a rostering fiasco that has led to hundreds of thousands of passengers being affected.

Correspondence shows that union representatives reference a recent European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling involving Ryanair. Earlier this month, the ECJ ruled, in a case related to six Belgium-based Ryanair workers, that a jurisdiction clause that sought to prevent them from bringing proceedings before courts which do have jurisdiction under EU legislation in the air passenger transport sector, was not enforceable against those employees.

Ryanair operates around 13 routes from Belfast International Airport.

It effectively means that Ryanair crew can now have disputes regarding employment contracts held in the country where they habitually carry out their work, such as a Ryanair base, rather than in the Republic, the country under which the contracts are drafted.

Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary has insisted the ruling does not alter the status quo of Ryanair's staff and employment contracts, however.

A notice from union Uiltrasporti said it was now making an official collective bargaining request to staff to represent Ryanair cockpit and cabin crew in Italy.

"Uiltrasporti stands openly in favour of the Ryanair workers, pointing out that the mistakes made by a short-sighted management can no longer be tolerated and recalls the recent decision of the European Court of Justice in favour of fair competition and social dialogue," the union notice said.

Belfast Telegraph

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