Ryanair illegally challenge Italian pilots protest

PHOTO CREDIT: Money-Tourism

ROME - The Minister for Economic Development, Carlo Calenda, has condemned Ryanair over their threats to pilots and crew planning to strike next week in a meeting of the Italian Banking Association Wednesday. When asked of his opinion on the planned protest, Calenda commented that “I think we should intervene, you cannot stay in the market and take advantage and not respect the rules.”

 In coordination with the Anpac pilots union, Italian workers at the low-budget airline are refusing to fly between 13.00 pm and 17.00 pm on Dec. 15 in an attempt to secure union recognition and better conditions from Ryanair employers. Last week, the airline announced that it would ignore the Italian claim of a strike as staff rarely followed through in walking out.

 Calenda’s comments follow the release of a letter sent by Ryanair head of human resources, Eddie Wilson, in which he threatened to pause increases and promotions following a strike. The letter details that Ryanair expects “all our pilots to work normally and to work with us to minimize the inconvenience during this agitation.”

 The president of the guarantee authority of strikes, Giuseppe Santoro Passarelli, has explained that if the strike is conducted properly that it is legal, and thus Wilson’s letter is a breach of the pilots’ rights. “The declaration of the Ryanair authorities appears not to comply with the principles of our law, in which the strike if legitimately exercised, is considered a constitutional right. I would like to remind finally that the law 146 (on strikes) censors those corporate behaviours that may determine the onset or aggravation of conflict.”

 Italian pilots are not alone in their protest. Crew in Portugal and Germany have also called for strikes, with Ryanair reportedly stating that they would not recognise any Germany union “regardless of what action - if any - takes place.” A spokesperson for the Irish pilots’ union Impact, Ashley Connolly, has said that the dispute was “solely about winning independent representation for pilots in the company,” and the protest against company policy seems to have garnered support from employees around the world.