Ryanair asks Irish pilots to bypass union and accept pay increase

Ryanair said this week it had signed an agreement with the British Airline Pilots' Association that formally recognizes a pilots' union for the first time. (AFP)
Updated 02 February 2018

Ryanair asks Irish pilots to bypass union and accept pay increase

DUBLIN: Ryanair has asked pilots in its home base in Dublin to bypass their trade union and directly accept a pay rise — even as it holds talks with unions across Europe to formalize its shock decision to recognize them.
Europe’s biggest budget airline was forced last year to recognize unions for the first time in its 32-year history in order to avoid a Christmas strike, after it had to cancel 20,000 flights earlier in the year due to a shortage of standby pilots.
It made a breakthrough earlier this week when it secured a formal recognition agreement with British union BALPA, but unions in other countries, including Ireland, have said they are not happy with how the negotiations are proceeding.
Now, in the latest sign of discord, the airline has accused Irish union FORSA/IALPA of misleading pilots.
Ryanair says that the 65 percent of pilots in Dublin not represented by a union have accepted the pay increase, but that the 35 percent represented by FORSA/IALPA were refusing to do so.
“Ryanair has written to this 35 percent to allow them to individually accept these pay increases in February ... due to IALPA’s refusal to hold a vote that they know they will lose,” Ryanair said in a statement.
“We will not stand idly by while they (FORSA/IALPA) delay and mislead our Dublin pilots,” the statement added.
In a letter to pilots making the offer, Ryanair management said that FORSA/IALPA had not responded since it sent a formal recognition agreement on Jan. 3. The union denies this, saying it has sent letters to management on three occasions since then.
In a letter sent on Wednesday seen by Reuters, FORSA/IALPA told Ryanair that pilots at meetings had unanimously agreed to reject Ryanair’s pay offer unless Ryanair confirmed that the acceptance would not prejudice future pay talks.
The pilots are also demanding that Ryanair agree that FORSA/IALPA be recognized as the exclusive body for collective bargaining with Ryanair pilots based in Ireland and that the airline’s system of agreements with individual bases be terminated, the letter said.
Unions from across Europe last week sent a letter to Ryanair demanding a joint meeting with management, a demand the airline has refused.


Saudi PIF seeks investment flexibility with $5 billion-plus loan

Updated 04 December 2020

Saudi PIF seeks investment flexibility with $5 billion-plus loan

  • The loan finances are for use if and when the fund identifies investment opportunities 
  • PIF  is at the heart of the Kingdom’s strategy of economic diversification under its Vision 2030 reform plan

DUBAI: The Public Investment Fund (PIF), Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, is in talks with bankers to raise a loan of between $5 billion (SR18.75 billion) and $7 billion to provide flexibility in its investment strategy.

The PIF has declined to comment on reports of the loan, said to be in the form of a revolving facility from a number of international banks, but sources said it was part of the fund’s regular financing arrangements, which have seen it take out and repay facilities for the past two years.

The loan finances are for use if and when the fund identifies investment opportunities and may not necessarily be used.

The PIF has been opportunistic during the coronavirus pandemic in identifying what it saw as undervalued assets on global stock markets and has been an active trader in securities on international markets.

The fund invested $7 billion in mainly US stocks in the first quarter of the year, when markets were first impacted by pandemic lockdowns, and increased and diversified that in the second quarter. It scaled back its commitments in the third quarter when asset values were near all-time highs. In the summer, it spent $1.5 billion to acquire a stake in the Indian digital business Jio Platforms.

PIF, under governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan, is at the heart of the Kingdom’s strategy of economic diversification under its Vision 2030 reform plan, while simultaneously building an international portfolio of assets.

Earlier this year, PIF repaid a $10 billion syndicated loan ahead of schedule after it completed the sale of its stake in SABIC to Saudi Aramco, and in 2018 it raised an $11 billion term-loan facility from international banks.

Previous fundraisings were done in partnership with a group of 10 banks from the US, Europe, and Asia that form part of the fund’s “core banking relationships.”