Legal actions taken against Ryanair by pilots’s union in Spain to fail: official

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Any legal action taken against Ryanair by its pilots’s union in Spain will fail, a local media report quoted the Ireland-headquartered airline as saying on Wednesday.

The comments came shortly after SEPLA, a trade union representing Ryanair pilots in Spain, had reportedly threatened to take legal actions against Ryanair in relation to employment contract issues.

The report quoted an unidentified official of Ryanair as saying that Spanish courts have not jurisdiction over Ryanair crew contracts of employment as Ryanair fully complies with all EU employment law and relevant Spanish legislation.

“Any threatened SEPLA lawsuit will fail,” said the official, adding that this is why SEPLA talks about lawsuits but has failed to initiate any.

SEPLA said in a memo to its Ryanair members in Spain that Ryanair has no intention of negotiating with the pilots representatives over the employment contract issues until it is forced to do so.

The trade union told the pilots that they have been naive in believing that Ryanair management really wanted to change the course of “toxic” labour relations. It accused Ryanair of only seeking to gain time.

It said that it has recruited lawyers to mount two lawsuits against the airline. One deals with Ryanair contracts which SEPLA believes fail to comply with Spanish law in a number of respects, and the other focuses on the regularisation of contractor pilots.

SEPLA also told the pilots that it will seek retrospective payment of anything that is owed to them.

Ryanair, the Europe’s largest low-cost passenger flight operator, had experienced a crisis last year due to the tense relations with its pilots. The crisis had forced the airline to cancel more than 20,000 flights due to the lack of standby pilots. To avoid a threatened strike by its pilots before last year’s Christmas, the company surprisingly agreed to recognize the trade union of its pilots for the first time in its 32-year history.

Despite this, talks between Ryanair and pilots trade union representatives over some specific issues are still facing problems, according to local media reports.

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