Ryanair pilots demand new staff representation system

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Ryanair pilots have voted in favour of a set of basic principles on how they want to be represented before their airline's management in future.

The ballot organised by the Ryanair Pilot Group (RPG) came after a first poll in December whereby nearly 95% of participating flight crew members voted to abandon the company's existing pilot representation system immediately.

They want a new system which covers all flight crew independent of their rank and operational base.

RPG says that the old scheme covered just around a quarter of pilots, because 75% of the airline's cockpit workforce are estimated to be hired through external job agencies and therefore have no means of collective representation.

"In the past Ryanair has indicated that it will only speak to its own [directly employed] pilots," says RPG. "This suggests that pilots are not entitled to nominate or select the people they want to represent them in negotiations where technical, legal or financial expertise may be required."

In this month's poll, nearly all participating pilots agreed on a set of principles for representation and balloting, which won 99.4% and 98.5% of their support respectively.

RPG says it will not disclose the exact numbers of the ballots "to protect the safety and security" of the group.