France’s air pilots given an ultimatum by Ryanair which leaves them with the choice of a pay cut or redundancy.
FRENCH pilots have been given an ultimatum by Ryanair who wish to cut their wages by 20 per cent and also look to cut flight attendant’s and steward’s wages by 10 per cent. French unions have been given five days to respond or the airline will begin with redundancies.
The low-cost airline will also pay new employees 10 per cent less than their colleagues. The plan is to start from July 1, 2020, and could last until at least 2025, enabling employees to recover their full salary over the next five years.
Ryanair expects that 3,000 positions will be cut across its entire European network but did not indicate exactly how many would be cut in France. The Irish carrier justified its decision by saying it was facing “a new environment with even lower fares and a distortion of competition due to sales at a loss by ineffective airlines backed by billions of euros in illegal state aid.”
Ryanair also plans to appeal against the controversial $9.8 billion in state aid that Lufthansa is earmarked to receive. In order to gain market shares over competitors, the troubled airline is expected to cut the price of tickets in half for July and August.
The conflict between Ryanair and Lufthansa is showing no signs of coming to an end anytime soon. As the German airline received a $9.8 billion state aid package from their government, Ryanair’s chief executive Michael O’Leary was extremely critical of the situation.
French pilot unions now have five days to respond, after which ’29 per cent of pilots and 27 per cent of co-pilots’ currently identified as redundant at the airports in Bordeaux, Marseille and Toulouse will be formally dismissed. This will be the same for the flight attendant unions, with 27 of the 160 French cabin crew in line for the chop.
The SNPNC-FO, the main French union among Ryanair cabin crew, reacted by claiming that “blackmail to dismissal” was being used by the low-cost airline, forcing them to work at “80 per cent of the minimum wage.” The union now plans to engage in legal action against Ryanair in the coming days.