TD says the state must not collude with any anti-union campaign by Ryanair management

“This is 2017, not a rerun of 1913; workers have the right to be represented by a union,” says Brid Smith TD

Questions remain over state regulator and its oversight in aviation industry says the Dublin South Central TD

People Before Profit TD, Brid Smith, today called for the full support of the trade union movement for the Ryanair pilots based in Ireland and across Europe who have voted for strike action for union recognition.

A large majority of pilots based in Ireland have voted to strike over a range of issues at the airline including the right to be represented by a union of their choice as opposed to a company appointed representative body. Hundreds more pilots based in Italy and Portugal are supporting the union recognition campaign.

These represent the vast majority of directly employed pilots at Ryanair, although there is considerable support for the campaign among the many pilots employed indirectly by agencies and operating under precarious contracts.

Brid Smith congratulated the pilots for taking the decision to stand up for themselves by taking strike action.

Deputy Smith said that the state and its regulators have turned a blind eye to the cowboy practices of Ryanair in the past. “This can’t continue, it’s 2017, not 1913; workers must have the right to join and be represented by a union of their choice.”

The South Central TD also claimed that if the state regulators such as the IAA and CAR had done their job many of the recent problems including flight cancellations could have been avoided.

The flight cancellations and the ongoing loss of experienced pilots at Ryanair stem from the cowboy practices of its management; it’s routine flouting of industry norms and its reliance on precarious contracts and agency workers. Any attempt by Ryanair to break a strike should not be tolerated by the wider union movement in Ireland or accepted by the state and the present Government,” she said.

Deputy Smith also said the decision of the Dáil’s Transport Committee not to continue its hearings into the aviation industry and possible safety issues were worrying. “It is clear from those hearings and evidence presented by IALPA (the association of pilots) that there are serious issues here and even more serious questions about the role of the IAA, the hearings should be reconvened at the earliest opportunity.”

Ends

Contact- Bríd Smith TD- 087 909 0166

Nick Lee (Press Officer)- 087 615 6473

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