Ryanair deal allows pilots pursue cases

FOLLOWING a 10-month standoff seven Ryanair pilots are to accept a retraining deal after they received assurances that they can continue with High Court victimisation cases against the airline.

The seven have been battling with the company over the terms of a retraining deal on new Boeing 737-800 aircraft due to come into service in November.

However, they are also part of a larger group of 64 pilots who have taken High Court proceedings claiming that Ryanair’s refusal to negotiate with a union is a breach of their constitutional rights.

Ryanair yesterday issued redundancy notices and threatened to fire the seven if they do not accept the 12th and current retraining offer made yesterday.

That offer gives the pilots the choice of having the €15,000 cost of retraining paid by the company if they agree to drop all High Court, Labour Court and Rights Commissioner cases.

Alternatively, a clarifying letter also received yesterday assured the seven they could maintain all cases against Ryanair if they paid the training costs themselves.

The Irish Examiner understands that all seven are to accept the latter option - which is now likely to be expanded to all the other pilots taking cases against Ryanair.

President of the Irish Airline Pilots Association (IAPA), captain Evan Cullen, said he could not comment directly on the latest development because Ryanair did not engage in collective bargaining and the issue only involved the pilots and the airline.

However, he encouraged all Ryanair pilots to continue with their victimisation claims against the company.

“I would hope that any pilot who makes an individual agreement with Ryanair would maintain their Labour Court complaint, their Rights Commissioner complaint and their High Court complaint for victimisation,” he said.

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