Euro­pean pilot group says Ryanair must re­verse base clo­sures

Iran Daily - - International -

A pan-euro­pean body rep­re­sent­ing Ryanair pilot unions on Fri­day de­scribed the Ir­ish air­line’s de­ci­sion to close two bases and re­duce its ca­pac­ity this win­ter as a “dec­la­ra­tion of war” on unions and said the move must be re­versed to make progress.

Ryanair (RYA.I) has said it hopes to se­cure deals with sev­eral pilot unions in the com­ing months in an ef­fort to bring a wave of in­dus­trial rest un­der con­trol, Reuters re­ported.

But the Euro­pean Cock­pit As­so­ci­a­tion (ECA) said in a state­ment the de­ci­sion by the air­line to close bases in Eind­hoven, the Nether­lands, and Bre­men, Ger­many, while also re­duc­ing ca­pac­ity in the Ger­man re­gion of Nieder­rhein, threat­ened to “se­ri­ously ex­ac­er­bate” ten­sions.

“Clos­ing down a base and mov­ing your em­ploy­ees to a dif­fer­ent coun­try is not com­pat­i­ble with so­cial di­a­logue. We see it as a dec­la­ra­tion of war, and to­tally con­trary to all claims to be will­ing to ne­go­ti­ate,” the pres­i­dent of the Dutch pi­lots’ as­so­ci­a­tion VNV, Arthur van den Hud­ding, was quoted as say­ing in the ECA state­ment fol­low­ing a meet­ing of unions last week.

The head of Ger­many’s Vere­ini­gung Cock­pit (VC) union, a key tar­get for Ryanair man­age­ment in its ef­forts to re­duce in­dus­trial ten­sions, said his union was call­ing on Ryanair to change its “con­fronta­tional and coun­ter­pro­duc­tive” ap­proach.

“If Ryanair is se­ri­ous about reach­ing agree­ments by Christ­mas, such be­hav­ior is very un­help­ful,” VC Pres­i­dent Martin Locher said in the state­ment. He de­scribed the Nov. 5 date for the clo­sures as a “mile­stone to test man­age­ment’s real in­ten­tions.”

Ryanair an­nounced plans to cut its Ir­ish fleet by six air­craft ear­lier this year but re­voked the de­ci­sion af­ter pi­lots backed a deal with man­age­ment.

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