Unite signs ‘historic’ agreement with Ryanair

For the first time in the budget airline's history, Ryanair has agreed to recognise a union in the UK, in an agreement that will cover 650 employees.

The agreement secures full negotiating rights for cabin crews operating out of bases around the country, and three union representatives will be given paid time to work for their members. This means that Ryanair cabin crew will be able to collectively bargain for decent wages and conditions.

The airline is already unionised in mainland Europe, where the cabin crews have won big victories. But in the UK the company was investigated by a parliamentary committee late last year amid claims that staff were being underpaid, forced to buy their own uniforms, and incurring fees when they left the job.

Commenting Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said:

“This is a historic agreement and a significant step by Ryanair. For the first time ever Ryanair’s UK cabin crew will have a recognised union in their corner to deal with workplace issues and collectively bargain on pay.

“I’d urge all UK based Ryanair cabin crew to join Unite and be part of one the biggest trade unions in the world representing airline workers.

“I would like to thank all those involved in securing this agreement which shows what can be achieved by patient, determined negotiation. Over the coming days and weeks Unite will be seeking similar agreements with the employment agencies which indirectly employ the remainder of Ryanair’s UK cabin crew.

“Unite looks forward to building a positive relationship with Ryanair that benefits passengers and workers alike.”

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