Unite secures deal to prevent Ryanair job losses

Unite, the principal aviation union, has secured an agreement with Ryanair which will result in no job losses among cabin crew at the airline.

Constructive approach

The union has hailed the airline's 'constructive' approach as being in direct contrast to other employers in the aviation sector.

In May, Ryanair announced that it was planning to cut 3,000 jobs across its European operation as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the effect it has had on the aviation sector.

Productive talks

Since that announcement Unite has been in talks with Ryanair to ensure that job losses and the potential closure of Ryanair’s bases in the UK were averted.

As part of the negotiations Unite agreed the following measures:

  • Workers will have a temporary tiered pay cut; the lowest paid will have a 5 per cent pay cut, then 7.5 per cent and the highest paid will have a 10 per cent pay cut.
  • The pay cuts will be returned in two tranches in 2023 and 2024.
  • The current pay agreement covering increases in wages will be retained and will be phased in from 2023.
  • There will be a review clause which if Ryanair returns to pre-Covid-19 levels of business earlier, the pay cuts can be reversed earlier. 

Unite members approve the deal

Unite members employed at Ryanair have been balloted on the agreement and have voted to accept the pay reductions in order to preserve jobs.

Difficult challenges

Unite Assistant General Secretary Diana Holland said: “Unite has been contending with an incredibly difficult set of circumstances in the aviation sector.

“The agreement with Ryanair shows that the company has taken a more constructive and less damaging approach to dealing with the issues than many of its competitor airlines.”

Temporary reductions

Unite National Officer for Aviation Oliver Richardson said: “That these reductions are temporary and tiered to ensure the lowest paid are least affected was an important outcome of our negotiations and critical to our members voting to accept the proposals.

“Unite has always maintained that temporary problems require temporary solutions. Ryanair’s management have shown that it is possible to reach an agreement on exactly that basis.

“It is always difficult for members to accept reductions in pay but in order to preserve jobs it is exactly what our cabin crew have agreed to do."