MP accuses Ryanair of ‘exploitation’ as pilots express concern

MP accuses Ryanair of ‘exploitation’ as pilots express concern

A group of Ryanair pilots have written to the Irish Aviation Authority after being threatened with dismissal for organising a “safety petition”.

The pilots’ letter emerged as Ryanair was accused in Parliament of “exploitation” for failing to pay cabin crew as full-time workers.

Labour MP Luciana Berger said: “It’s outrageous that an airline that reported record profits last year does not pay its staff for all the time they work.”

Berger, the MP for Liverpool Wavertree, spoke out after former Ryanair cabin crew member Sophie Growcoot wrote to her to complain of her treatment by the airline.

Growcoot was employed by Ryanair crew contractor Crewlink.

Berger reported crew were only paid when in the air, not while aircraft turned around at airports or flights were delayed, and had to pay themselves for safety training and uniforms.

The pilots, members of the Ryanair Pilots Group, wrote to the aviation authority saying: “We are extremely concerned by … the implicit attempt to constrain the reporting of safety related concerns.”

They had previously sought signatures to a letter complaining that a move by Ryanair to make them self-employed could compromise safety.

The petition warned that an “uncertain and unpredictable employment situation” was becoming “an increasing distraction in daily flight operations”.

Ryanair does not recognise the pilots group, or any other trade unions, and wrote warning that any pilot signing the petition would be “liable for dismissal”.

The carrier told pilots: “We will not allow Ryanair’s safety to be defamed by this pilots’ union.

“Any pilot who participates in this so-called safety petition will be guilty of gross misconduct.”

Flight International operations and safety editor David Learmount told The Independent: “Ryanair are pushing their luck on human factors.”

Ryanair dismissed Berger’s remarks in Parliament as “false statements”.

The carrier is due to announce its latest results this morning.


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