A social memorandum of understanding has been concluded between management and unions at Ryanair, which will therefore waive the planned dismissal of 176 people, inform Tuesday the CNE and its Flemish counterpart ACV Puls, who conducted these negotiations. In particular, it provides for the transfer of 50 fixed-term contracts to CDI and workers also obtain 19 days of compensatory rest. In exchange, the Christian union accepted an 8% pay cut, which however only concerns the highest salaries of cabin crew.
Faced with the health crisis and the many travel restrictions associated with it, the Irish airline has been working for months to reduce its costs, especially those related to personnel. She had therefore announced the dismissal of around 3,000 people across Europe. In several countries, it had reached agreements with unions on wage cuts for the remaining staff.
But these negotiations had not yet been able to lead to an agreement in Belgium with regard to cabin crew, unlike the pilots, who had already accepted, several months ago, a salary reduction of 20%. A total of 176 permanent jobs were threatened and, at the beginning of January, the low-cost carrier had again threatened Belgium with further cuts.
Ensure that Rynair meets its commitments
It will therefore ultimately be nothing. After long months of negotiations between management and the union delegation, a memorandum of understanding was reached to save these 176 jobs and transform 50 fixed-term contracts into permanent contracts. In addition, 19 days of compensatory rest and the possibility of doing part-time work or taking unpaid leave, “which is important for the staff in order to be able to return to their families”, situates Didier Lebbe, CNE permanent secretary.
This memorandum of understanding is, however, conditioned on Ryanair’s settlement of salary liabilities and on compliance with previous agreements in this area. The company must first apply and pay the sector increases for 2019 (1.1%) and 2020 (2%) and the reduction of 8% will then be applied to these adapted scales.
Hans Elsen, permanent secretary of ACV Puls, the Flemish counterpart of the CNE, regrets, for his part, not having been able to obtain the possibility of voluntary departures for the staff, entirely made up of non-Belgians.
“But the most important”, continues Didier Lebbe, “is now to ensure that Ryanair respects its commitments”.
The fact of having used the Renault law to put pressure on wages, however, remains in the throats of the two trade unionists.
Ryanair is active in Zaventem and Charleroi and employs around 500 people there, all categories of staff combined.
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