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Open letter by the European Cockpit Association to Members of the European Parliament


Dear Members of the European Parliament,

Last week, many of you took the floor during the Plenary debate about Ryanair’s massive cancellation crisis, its handling of passenger rights, and the precarious atypical employment practices for its employees.

Today, Ryanair Capt. Imelda Comer speaks up – and we invite you to listen to what she has to say about the company and the aspirations of Ryanair pilots.

Imelda Comer took the step to reveal her identity. Not an easy step in an environment where many pilots express their fear to be subject to professional disadvantages if they dare to speak up.

She did so by writing an open letter to her boss, Ryanair’s CEO Michael O’Leary.

As a Ryanair pilot, Capt. Imelda Comer speaks on behalf of her colleagues and the newly established interim ‘European Employee Representative Committee’ (EERC).

What they ask for is eminently reasonable, and very simple:

  • the establishment of a genuine social dialogue between the collective body of Ryanair pilots and their management – not a unilaterally imposed one-way ‘take-it-or-leave-it’ communication; and
  • permanent direct employment contracts, governed by the local laws of the country where the pilots are based and habitually work from – in line with the recent judgement of the European Court of Justice.

Benchmarking pay and conditions with other comparable airlines, as well as further work-related issues are important, but come second. They are to be agreed upon between genuine pilot representatives chosen by the pilots, and their management.

#Ryanair Captain Imelda Comer speaks up - listen to what she has to say

As the voice of Europe’s professional pilots, the European Cockpit Association would like you – the elected representatives of Europe’s citizens – to be aware of these demands.

And to be aware that there are still companies in Europe that deny their employees effective access to the very fundamental rights of Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining.

Such disregard for Fundamental Rights, and the precarious atypical employment practices it makes possible, have no place in Europe.

Please take a few minutes and read Imelda Comer’s letter. And please do support her and her colleagues in their quest for being able to exercise their Fundamental rights.

Sincerely yours,

Dirk Polloczek, ECA President  
Philip von Schöppenthau, ECA Secretary General


Capt. Imelda Comer’s Letter
CC: Marianne THYSSEN, EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility
Violeta BULC, EU Commissioner for Transport