REPORTS that Ryanair could close its base in Cork have been described as “very disheartening and very disappointing”.
Lord mayor Joe Kavanagh said mooted plans by Ryanair to close bases in Cork and Shannon, along with the loss of 120 jobs if pilots refused to take a pay cut, amounted to disloyalty.
“Ryanair has been well supported by the people of Ireland, and especially the people of Cork flying out of Cork over the years,” he said.
“Loyalty to a business has to be a two-way thing. The business has to be loyal to its employees also.”
According to a report by Reuters, Ryanair sent a memo to pilots on Friday which said the union council representing Irish pilots had walked away from ongoing talks on Wednesday.
Ryanair director of operations Neal McMahon reportedly said a union request for an extension of a 30-day consultation on job cuts represented “stalling tactics”.
Pilots were reportedly asked to accept proposals, including a 20% pay cut that would be reversed gradually within four years. The number of acceptances would determine whether Ryanair’s bases in Cork and Shannon airports would remain open or not, it said.
A spokesperson for the Forsa union said they could not confirm the details of the report.
The spokesperson said the 30-day consultation period on redundancies had concluded without a collective agreement, but they were happy to work with a third party to reach one.
“We have not yet received any response to this from Ryanair,” the spokesperson added.
Forsa pilot members received contact from the airline on Friday afternoon which, according to the trade union “essentially, offers an ultimatum to the effect that if they sign the agreement they will receive work, but if they don’t, they won’t receive work.”
A spokesperson for Ryanair said the Reuter’s story referred to an internal memo.
“We have nothing further to add to it,” said the spokesperson.