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Ryanair bypasses union, threatens base closures in Irish pilot talks

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Ryanair has threatened to close two regional bases and axe up to 120 pilot jobs unless pilots in its home Irish market bypass their union and directly accept a pay cut, a memo seen by Reuters said.

Ryanair Boeing 737-8AS plane EI-EKG lands in Riga International Airport in Riga, Latvia January 17, 2020. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

28 Jun 2020 05:20PM

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DUBLIN: Ryanair has threatened to close two regional bases and axe up to 120 pilot jobs unless pilots in its home Irish market bypass their union and directly accept a pay cut, a memo seen by Reuters said.

Europe's largest low-cost carrier is demanding pay cuts of up to 20per cent and changes to work practices across Europe.

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It has said it plans 3,000 job cuts and a reduction in staff unit costs, but faces union resistance in a number of markets.

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In the memo sent on Friday, Ryanair director of operations Neal McMahon told pilots the union council representing Irish pilots had walked away from talks on Wednesday, something the Forsa trade union denied.

McMahon said a union request for an extension of a 30-day consultation on job cuts represented "stalling tactics".

Instead, the memo sent on the company's internal messaging system, asked pilots to click a button to accept proposals including a 20per cent pay cut that would be reversed gradually within four years, a spreading of available work via job shares and unpaid leave, and "productivity improvements".

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It said the number of job losses, and whether bases at Cork and Shannon airports remained open would depend on the number of acceptances.

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