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Dublin: 6 °C Wednesday 13 November, 2019
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'Your move': Seven cabin crew unions write to Ryanair shareholders demanding an end to unrest

The letter sent to the shareholders was signed on behalf of seven cabin crew unions – two Spanish, two Belgian and, two Italian and one Portuguese.

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UNIONS REPRESENTING RYANAIR staff have written directly to the airline’s shareholders urging them to put an end to the ongoing industrial dispute.

In a letter seen by TheJournal.ie, a statement made on behalf of a number of European unions urges the shareholders to “find a peaceful resolution for the current employee unrest”.

Ryanair is facing industrial action in a number of countries, including Ireland. Both pilots and cabin crew are lobbying for better working conditions.

In relation to Ireland, talks between the airline and pilots union Fórsa are entering their fifth day.

Both parties have been locked in discussions since Monday, in an effort to resolve the industrial dispute that has seen Irish-based pilots strike on five days since the beginning of July.

The pilots are seeking improved terms on issues including leave, promotion and base transfers.

Last Friday, Irish pilots, along with their Ryanair colleagues in Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Belgium, refused to perform their duties in another day of strike action, meaning that over 1,000 flights did not take place across Europe.

The letter sent to the shareholders was signed on behalf of seven cabin crew unions – two Spanish, two Belgian and, two Italian and one Portuguese.

It read: “After months of frustrating talks, innocuous meetings and even strike actions in some countries, we fail to see a ‘sincere and genuine’ union integration process and the willing to engage in a negotiation with the workers’ legitimate representatives.”

Ryanair management continues to use bullying as a management tool, that punishes people for being sick, that sends intimidating letters to the people that exercised their right to strike, threatening to cut jobs in the countries affected and insisting on perpetuating a business model that we all consider to be obsolete.

“The workers in Ryanair will not give up until the company changes. 2018 can remain in history as either the dawn of a new sustainable Ryanair, or it can be the year that some poor decisions will make irreversible damage to an already fragile operation. The decision rests on you.”

With regards to the Irish pilot unrest, the assistance of independent facilitator Kieran Mulvey, who formerly headed the Workplace Relations Commission – has been enlisted to help reach an agreement.

It was expected that the talks at Dublin Airport would have concluded on Wednesday, but discussions stretched past midnight without a deal.

While the union repeatedly stressed that its members had “reasonable demands”, Ryanair has called strikes as “irresponsible” and “unwarranted”.

At the request of Mulvey, both sides are refraining from further comment until a deal has been reached.

A spokesperson for Ryanair said: “We don’t comment on false claims made by smaller unions, many of whom are not recognised by Ryanair. Letters to shareholders (such as this) are a failed attempt to generate fake news and will be ignored by both Ryanair and our shareholders.”

With reporting by Cianan Brennan

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