Ryanair, the UK’s largest airline today welcomed BALPA’s recent announcement that it has “temporarily suspended” its trade recognition campaign amongst Ryanair’s UK pilots in the face of massive opposition from Ryanair’s pilots towards BALPA (the British Airways Lunching Pilots Association).
On June 19th BALPA wrote to Ryanair seeking to impose union recognition among Ryanair’s UK pilots. Ryanair told them to go away, because Ryanair’s pilots continue to negotiate directly with the airline as evidenced by a recent extension of Ryanair’s UK pilots four year pay and conditions agreement. This guaranteed Ryanair pilots a 5 on, 4 off roster (the best in the industry) as well as protecting Ryanair’s pilots pay and job security at a time when BALPA was negotiating pay cuts and job cuts at British Airways, Virgin, Thompson-Fly and others.
However BALPA wouldn’t take the hint and threatened to refer the matter to the CAC, who could (under UK legislation) require a secret ballot among Ryanair UK pilots to see whether they actually want trade union recognition. Following a groundswell of opposition to BALPA from Ryanair’s UK pilots, BALPA have now recognised that they don’t have the support of a majority of Ryanair’s pilots, that they won’t win any such ballot, which is why their campaign to impose union recognition has now been “temporarily suspended” in another humiliating defeat for the British Airways Lunching Pilots Association.
Ryanair’s Director of Personnel, Eddie Wilson said:
“The only reason why BALPA is “temporarily suspending” this campaign is because they know that they will lose. BALPA don’t want to lose another secret ballot on recognition, because that will mean they can’t have another go at Ryanair for a minimum period of three years.
“Perhaps now would be a good time for BALPA – the British Airways Lunching Pilots Association – to accept that Ryanair’s UK pilots have better pay, better terms and conditions and better rosters than the pay cuts and job losses being negotiated by BALPA at many other British airlines. This is why Ryanair’s UK pilots don’t need and don’t want the “help” of a failed BA pilots union, which last year spent four times more on lunches, conferences, entertainment and travel (£886,000) than they did on legal fees defending their members (£191,000).
“This is another humiliating defeat for the British Airways Lunching Pilots Association, coming 8 years after they lost the last secret ballot on trade union recognition by a majority of over 4 to 1 against. At least this latest failure of BALPA’s recognition campaign will give them more time for lunches, and they can spend even less money defending their members interests in British Airways, Virgin, Thomson-Fly and all the other UK airlines where BALPA are negotiating pay cuts and job cuts. So it’s Bye Bye BALPA – yet again!!”