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Ryanair pilots in Madrid reject pay deal

The deal had been aimed at helping the company address difficulties it has in recruiting and retaining pilots.

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Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

RYANAIR PILOTS AT Madrid have overwhelmingly rejected a pay rise of up to 22%.

The deal had been aimed at helping the company address difficulties it has in recruiting and retaining pilots.

In total, 68 of the 81 contract pilots at the base in the Spanish capital voted, with just 13 (19.12%) in favour of the pay rise and 55 (80.88%) against.

Pilots had until Friday to complete the ballot, which would have seen captains get pay rises of up to €12,000 and first officers receive up to half that.

Pilots have been demanding CEO Michael O’Leary meet with them as a unit, but Ryanair will only negotiate with local committees.

In a note on the ballot, seen by TheJournal.ie, pilots are told that 189 Ryanair pilots have joined the Spanish pilots’ union SEPLA in the last three weeks.

The note tells pilots to establish local trade union sections so that they can meet with O’Leary. If he refuses to meet them, the note says, the pilots could take their pay claim to the European Court of Justice.

The rejection comes as the airline tries to tackle resourcing problems that led to the airline axing 50 flights a day during six weeks in September and October in a move that affected thousands of passengers.

Many pundits also suggested the issue was really caused by a shortage of pilots and staff being poached by rivals such as Norwegian Air.

Yesterday, Aer Lingus announced plans to hire 100 new pilots. Earlier this month, Aer Lingus COO Mike Rutter said that the company wasn’t actively headhunting Ryanair pilots, but they were “a natural hiring ground” for the carrier.

In a statement, Ryanair said:

“We don’t comment on rumour or speculation.”

Read: Aer Lingus has announced plans to hire 100 new pilots

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