Bdutch
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Court decision: Ryanair cannot close EIN base

Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:46 am

The 16 pilots that have appealed in court against the decision from Ryanair to close the EIN base have today won their appeal.
According to the court Ryanair has misused it's power to prevent strike actions and the has ruled that there was no economic basis to close the EIN base.

The court also ruled that pilots currently based at EIN cannot be forced to move to another base.


Guess this will be an unexpected turn for Ryanair, interesting to see their response to this as the base was supposed to close in 5 days.




Article in Dutch: https://www.nu.nl/ondernemen/5547032/ry ... uiten.html
 
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PW100
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Re: Court decision: Ryanair cannot close EIN base

Thu Nov 01, 2018 4:26 pm

Ryanair has already stated that they will appeal the verdict, and that they continue with base closure.

This court took a very interesting and fundamental position, which I expect Ryanair to continue challenging (if required) all the way to the highest possible court (ECJ - European Court of Justice). The Dutch (low) court decided that although the labour contract between the Ryanair and their employees (pilots in this case) are based on Irish law (as mutually “agreed” by both parties), that does not eliminate the fact that Dutch (labour) law must be honored for employees based in the Netherlands. Obviously this is a very big thing for Ryanair, as an important part of their business model is based on not honoring local labour laws.

The court went on to conclude that the closure and subsequent relocation/redundancies of employees is in violation of Dutch law and may not proceed. If Ryanair does go through (as it seems they will), they will be finded 150000 euro per employee. Further Ryanair has to make sure that the pilot licenses (B737-800) remain valid including all associated requirements.
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32andBelow
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Re: Court decision: Ryanair cannot close EIN base

Thu Nov 01, 2018 4:44 pm

How would the court have any basis on an airline or any business deciding what markets you operate in? Absolutely mad.
 
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VirginFlyer
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Re: Court decision: Ryanair cannot close EIN base

Thu Nov 01, 2018 4:49 pm

32andBelow wrote:
How would the court have any basis on an airline or any business deciding what markets you operate in? Absolutely mad.


:arrow:

PW100 wrote:
The Dutch (low) court decided that although the labour contract between the Ryanair and their employees (pilots in this case) are based on Irish law (as mutually “agreed” by both parties), that does not eliminate the fact that Dutch (labour) law must be honored for employees based in the Netherlands. Obviously this is a very big thing for Ryanair, as an important part of their business model is based on not honoring local labour laws.

The court went on to conclude that the closure and subsequent relocation/redundancies of employees is in violation of Dutch law and may not proceed. If Ryanair does go through (as it seems they will), they will be finded 150000 euro per employee. Further Ryanair has to make sure that the pilot licenses (B737-800) remain valid including all associated requirements.


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Dutchy
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Re: Court decision: Ryanair cannot close EIN base

Thu Nov 01, 2018 4:51 pm

32andBelow wrote:
How would the court have any basis on an airline or any business deciding what markets you operate in? Absolutely mad.


They don't, but the law protects employees. Quite normal.
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PSAatSAN4Ever
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Re: Court decision: Ryanair cannot close EIN base

Thu Nov 01, 2018 5:05 pm

PW100 wrote:
Ryanair has already stated that they will appeal the verdict, and that they continue with base closure.

This court took a very interesting and fundamental position, which I expect Ryanair to continue challenging (if required) all the way to the highest possible court (ECJ - European Court of Justice). The Dutch (low) court decided that although the labour contract between the Ryanair and their employees (pilots in this case) are based on Irish law (as mutually “agreed” by both parties), that does not eliminate the fact that Dutch (labour) law must be honored for employees based in the Netherlands. Obviously this is a very big thing for Ryanair, as an important part of their business model is based on not honoring local labour laws.

The court went on to conclude that the closure and subsequent relocation/redundancies of employees is in violation of Dutch law and may not proceed. If Ryanair does go through (as it seems they will), they will be finded 150000 euro per employee. Further Ryanair has to make sure that the pilot licenses (B737-800) remain valid including all associated requirements.


How similar is this to the TWA in Tel Aviv situation that AA "inherited"? It was the decision of the Israeli court that, according to their laws, AA was indeed the successor to TWA, and as such was liable for unpaid TWA employee salaries, and until that debt was repaid, AA would not be allowed to fly into TLV - and if an AA plane touched down at TLV, it would be impounded. This was different from American law, because when the devil himself, Carl Icahn, went to court to force AA to honor the Karabu agreement, American courts ruled that it wasn't a take-over, but a purchase of assets of a dead airline, negating the deal. And I say that with apologies to the devil for the vile comparison.

The point is this: If you're going to operate in a foreign country, you better be prepared to cross your t's and dot your i's with the local laws. If this indeed a violation of Dutch law, then Ryanair will have two choices: pay the fines/costs or leave the Netherlands entirely.
 
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Phosphorus
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Re: Court decision: Ryanair cannot close EIN base

Thu Nov 01, 2018 6:43 pm

PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:

How similar is this to the TWA in Tel Aviv situation that AA "inherited"? It was the decision of the Israeli court that, according to their laws, AA was indeed the successor to TWA, and as such was liable for unpaid TWA employee salaries, and until that debt was repaid, AA would not be allowed to fly into TLV - and if an AA plane touched down at TLV, it would be impounded. This was different from American law, because when the devil himself, Carl Icahn, went to court to force AA to honor the Karabu agreement, American courts ruled that it wasn't a take-over, but a purchase of assets of a dead airline, negating the deal. And I say that with apologies to the devil for the vile comparison.

The point is this: If you're going to operate in a foreign country, you better be prepared to cross your t's and dot your i's with the local laws. If this indeed a violation of Dutch law, then Ryanair will have two choices: pay the fines/costs or leave the Netherlands entirely.


You are quite right, there are analogies here. It's about Jurisdiction, primarily, IMHO.

Dispute of AA and Icahn was domestic, with the USA, and the US Bankruptcy Code ruled the day.

Dispute of AA and laid off Israeli employees of TWA was international in nature, and local employees should (and did) have capitalized on a) local labor law b) connecting honoring commitments arising from that labor law to the route authority. c) (not obligatory, but possible) making connection between TWA assets and AA.
Basically, the way I read it, anyone who touched TWA route authorities to TLV, was on the hook for TWA debts in Israel. Smart strategy, TBH.

Same here. The fact that Irish laws allow whatever, is not a reason for a Netherlands-based employee to ignore Dutch laws, or be rid of their protection. Dutch courts established:
1) that they had jursidiction
2) that Dutch law was relevant
and thus applied the Dutch law.
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readytotaxi
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Re: Court decision: Ryanair cannot close EIN base

Thu Nov 01, 2018 6:49 pm

[quote="PW100"]Ryanair has already stated that they will appeal the verdict, and that they continue with base closure.

Curious not being a lawyer, are you allowed to continue with a course of action after a court has found against you and the appeal has not been heard? Shouldn't things stop until it is decided?
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Delta777Jet
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Re: Court decision: Ryanair cannot close EIN base

Thu Nov 01, 2018 6:55 pm

Probably Ryanair did save too much, not taking the best lawyers for this case.
How that court could come to such business unfriendly conclusions is not understandable.

How the court can take influence on a business decision a private company made? It is Ryanair's decision if they want to continue the base or not.
Furthermore, it is an Irish business with contracts made in Ireland. I'm also sure they offered the EIN based crews alternatives, such as working in Portugal and on other bases. This is also part of the crew's contract obligation, to be able and willing to work from other bases if necessary.
So if they deny working from other bases, I think Ryanair has a case against the employees and can ask for compensation of damages.
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Re: Court decision: Ryanair cannot close EIN base

Thu Nov 01, 2018 6:56 pm

IMHO this was punishment for striking. I'm certainly not a union fanboy, but when companies can act like the old Ford... It must be addressed. So I side with the pilots.

The EU needs just labor laws that cross boarders.

I'm not a fan of what many unions have become (agitators for dues), but in this case, they have my full backing. I do not want to live in a world without employee rights.

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intrance
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Re: Court decision: Ryanair cannot close EIN base

Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:07 pm

As I read it, the judge indeed deemed the base closure a punishment for striking. Which is against Dutch labor laws. Therefore they have forbidden Ryanair to force the pilots to relocate to another base. They have to continue paying a normal monthly salary and will be fined quite large sums if they don't. They also have to keep the pilots current in terms of training and licenses and will be fined if they don't as well. This verdict is valid immediately and will be in force while Ryanair appeals.

Basically, Ryanair can still stop the flights out of Eindhoven but they will then have 50 pilots enjoying a salary for not working at all while the matter is being fought out in appeals and higher courts.

Now, had this base closure not been a follow up to strikes, it would have been far more believable that it is due to commercial reasons and the court would have probably decided otherwise. This is not necessarily a local court telling you what's profitable or not, it was a court judging whether this base closure was a punishment or not.
 
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Re: Court decision: Ryanair cannot close EIN base

Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:08 pm

readytotaxi wrote:
Curious not being a lawyer, are you allowed to continue with a course of action after a court has found against you and the appeal has not been heard? Shouldn't things stop until it is decided?


Basically, as I read it, closing the base is not illegal per se. The illegal part is the consequences for the employees, which are "transferred" to other bases. In most European countries, you can't just change the place of work, meaning you have to allow for commuting or make a payout to make the person redundant (usually expensive).
 
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Re: Court decision: Ryanair cannot close EIN base

Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:09 pm

lightsaber wrote:
IMHO this was punishment for striking. I'm certainly not a union fanboy, but when companies can act like the old Ford... It must be addressed. So I side with the pilots.

The EU needs just labor laws that cross boarders.

I'm not a fan of what many unions have become (agitators for dues), but in this case, they have my full backing. I do not want to live in a world without employee rights.

Lightsaber


That’s what I read in another newspaper.
The court saw the clossure of the base as a punishment for the strike.
 
CRJ900
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Re: Court decision: Ryanair cannot close EIN base

Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:20 pm

Why is FR closing EIN? I thought it was their biggest base in the Netherlands and the biggest reason why EIN is the second largest airport in the Netherlands. Are yields too low?
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intrance
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Re: Court decision: Ryanair cannot close EIN base

Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:24 pm

CRJ900 wrote:
Why is FR closing EIN? I thought it was their biggest base in the Netherlands and the biggest reason why EIN is the second largest airport in the Netherlands. Are yields too low?
It could be argued that it is a punishment for strikes. Ryanair claims it is for commercial reasons, but it was announced shortly after strikes by their crew and I believe together with a few other bases where labor disputes had or have been going on. So it's anyone's guess. Could be that the yields are not high enough, or could be that they wanted to make a point.
 
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Re: Court decision: Ryanair cannot close EIN base

Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:27 pm

CRJ900 wrote:
Why is FR closing EIN? I thought it was their biggest base in the Netherlands and the biggest reason why EIN is the second largest airport in the Netherlands. Are yields too low?

Rumour is they are closing it as the pilots went on strike.
 
leghorn
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Re: Court decision: Ryanair cannot close EIN base

Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:28 pm

16 pilots I believe, not 50.
Salaries were mentioned in the published decision from the Judge
If the pilots continue to be employed by Ryanair they will be earning absolute minimum that their contract allows as a large proportion of their salary is dependent on how many hours they fly. They won't be maxing out 900 hours anymore.
Ryanair will appeal judgement before Pilots lose their right to fly/type rating.

Ryanair will learn to not refer to possible base closure as an outcome of industrial action in their correspondence with employee representatives in future; that didn't help them here and the Judge referred to it. You don't need to tell someone you are holding a big stick when you are holding a baseball bat.

Ryanair offer mobile contracts now for many pilots which are 5 on 5 off and not tied to any particular base.

The problem will "correct itself" or work itself out in time in the way that the Employer wants.
 
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Re: Court decision: Ryanair cannot close EIN base

Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:33 pm

DUSZRH wrote:
readytotaxi wrote:
The illegal part is the consequences for the employees, which are "transferred" to other bases. In most European countries, you can't just change the place of work, meaning you have to allow for commuting or make a payout to make the person redundant (usually expensive).


But in this case the employees have in their contract that they can be also placed at other locations, the employer wants them to work. That's also pretty standard for many airline and ship crews and its part of their salary. For sure as crew members they cant await to be every evening home. It is not a 9-5 office job somewhere in downtown Eindhoven.

But to be honest, everyone, at least in Europe and especially pilots have many options to find work. So everyone should ask why they still work for Ryanair if it is so bad ? They should just resign then and find a job with KLM or Transavia if they dont like the agreed conditions anymore or are unhappy. Instead they choose to harm the business of their employer and destroy travel plans of thousands of people and then start wonder about the consequences. Makes no sense.
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Re: Court decision: Ryanair cannot close EIN base

Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:34 pm

CRJ900 wrote:
Why is FR closing EIN? I thought it was their biggest base in the Netherlands and the biggest reason why EIN is the second largest airport in the Netherlands. Are yields too low?


The sole reason is the fact that Dutch Ryanair employees demand the Dutch labour laws to be subject on them, which Ryanair denies. They claim that, as an Irish airline, they're subject to Irish labour laws. This has lead to a series of strikes which made Ryanair dislike those Dutch employees who were simply fighting for their rights. To punish them they planned to close their beloved base and move them to other countries (from what I've heard, mostly Poland). Routes would be operated from the other end, indicating that Ryanair does want to keep those routes.

This proved to be too much to ask for for Ryanair, they didn't get what they wanted.

By the way, several years ago EasyJet was in a similar position at Amsterdam. They too weren't too eager to let their staff be subject to Dutch labour laws which lead to a series of strikes. But at a certain moment EasyJet gave in and since that moment all EasyJet staff at Amsterdam is under Dutch contracts. From that moment on, everything went smooth and there hasn't been a single strike or even threat of a strike. EasyJet themselves were surprised by how smooth things went. Now Amsterdam is one of the largest bases for EasyJet.
 
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intrance
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Re: Court decision: Ryanair cannot close EIN base

Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:36 pm

leghorn wrote:
16 pilots I believe, not 50.


The base itself employs about 50 pilots, mentioned in Dutch news. They might be mistaken though. But with 4 planes and considering duty limits and days off/vacation, having 4-5 crews per plane does not seem that far off for constant production. It's likely the 16 are the ones who are included in the court case, though the verdict will be beneficial to all pilots in EIN I imagine.
 
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Re: Court decision: Ryanair cannot close EIN base

Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:45 pm

Delta777Jet wrote:
But in this case the employees have in their contract that they can be also placed at other locations, the employer wants them to work. That's also pretty standard for many airline and ship crews and its part of their salary. For sure as crew members they cant await to be every evening home. It is not a 9-5 office job somewhere in downtown Eindhoven.

But to be honest, everyone, at least in Europe and especially pilots have many options to find work. So everyone should ask why they still work for Ryanair if it is so bad ? They should just resign then and find a job with KLM or Transavia if they dont like the agreed conditions anymore or are unhappy. Instead they choose to harm the business of their employer and destroy travel plans of thousands of people and then start wonder about the consequences. Makes no sense.


Don't forget that many of those employees entered Ryanair when it was very hard to find a job in aviation. They were lucky to get hired by Ryanair and probably paid a lot of money to "buy" themselves in and you don't give that up so easily. That was normal business those days. Today it's better, but still not as good as you're saying. Chances of finding a job have increased, but it's still not easy.

According to Dutch labour laws being asked to work in other places is only allowed under very strict conditions, like for example the employer has to pay for the costs of relocation and the employee has the right to refuse without the risk of being fired. Ryanair doesn't match those conditions and is therefor breaking the Dutch law. They say that as the crew starts their working day at Eindhoven, the briefing takes place in Eindhoven, that makes the working location is technically Eindhoven even when they're abroad. And since the working location is Eindhoven the Dutch law applies.
 
leghorn
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Re: Court decision: Ryanair cannot close EIN base

Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:45 pm

16 salaries mentioned in the Judge's written findings.
If planes aren't based in Eindhoven then there is nothing beneficial in this for the others; they won't be earning if they aren't flying enough.
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: Court decision: Ryanair cannot close EIN base

Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:35 pm

PatrickZ80 wrote:
According to Dutch labour laws being asked to work in other places is only allowed under very strict conditions, like for example the employer has to pay for the costs of relocation and the employee has the right to refuse without the risk of being fired. Ryanair doesn't match those conditions and is therefor breaking the Dutch law. They say that as the crew starts their working day at Eindhoven, the briefing takes place in Eindhoven, that makes the working location is technically Eindhoven even when they're abroad. And since the working location is Eindhoven the Dutch law applies.


On top of that, under the Dutch law Ryanair owes these employees a severance pay if they don't accept their forced relocation. This can be quite a lot of money. However if they leave out of their own, they get nothing. The Dutch court has ruled that Ryanair has to pay a penalty of up to € 250.000 per employee if they fire them. Offering a job abroad is seen as the same thing as firing. No doubt most of that money will end up in the hands of those employees as well.

The Dutch Ryanair employees are strengthened in their conviction by their Belgian colleagues. Lately Ryanair has given in in Belgium, all Belgian Ryanair employees are now subject to Belgian labour laws. This goes for the bases in Brussels and Charleroi. Belgian labour laws are pretty similar to Dutch, so why did Ryanair accept it in Belgium and didn't accept it in the Netherlands?
 
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Re: Court decision: Ryanair cannot close EIN base

Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:47 pm

1. It is Ryanair's stated intention, to treat all employees according to Irish labour law, regardless of where they are based.
2. It is clear EU law, that the labour law of the country where the employees are based has precedence.
3. Courts in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany and the Netherlands have made essentially similar rulings on this principle, in each and every case ruling against Ryanair's practices.
4. Ryanair, in yet another example of their bottomless arrogance, told the Dutch employees their base would close if they kept on striking. Such a threat is illegal according to Dutch labour law, Ryanair stated they didn't give a flying so-and-so; they were operating under Irish law. This despite them having lost every single case addressing this point, brought before any court of law in a EU country.
5. The proof Ryanair closed the base purely on vindictive grounds is that all the routes presently served are simply being reversed - they are not cutting down the flying out of EIN.
6. Ryanair closed the base and terminated/forcely moved the employees in a manner which is not according to Dutch labour law. Might be legal in Ireland, but you're not in Ireland now sunshine. That makes it illegal, and the penalties according to Dutch law are therefore applicable and has been invoked. Given the numerous times Ryanair has been subject to defeats in courts all over the EU, this should hardly come as a surprise to anyone, let alone Ryanair.

It's all very simple really: Ryanair refuses to play by the rule book in the jurisdiction they operate, and pretend they can use Irish rules everywhere. That's not how it works, and it really has nothing to be with courts being labour or employer friendly; they are simply applying the law as it's written in their country.
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PSAatSAN4Ever
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Re: Court decision: Ryanair cannot close EIN base

Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:54 pm

Phosphorus wrote:
PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:

How similar is this to the TWA in Tel Aviv situation that AA "inherited"? It was the decision of the Israeli court that, according to their laws, AA was indeed the successor to TWA, and as such was liable for unpaid TWA employee salaries, and until that debt was repaid, AA would not be allowed to fly into TLV - and if an AA plane touched down at TLV, it would be impounded. This was different from American law, because when the devil himself, Carl Icahn, went to court to force AA to honor the Karabu agreement, American courts ruled that it wasn't a take-over, but a purchase of assets of a dead airline, negating the deal. And I say that with apologies to the devil for the vile comparison.

The point is this: If you're going to operate in a foreign country, you better be prepared to cross your t's and dot your i's with the local laws. If this indeed a violation of Dutch law, then Ryanair will have two choices: pay the fines/costs or leave the Netherlands entirely.


You are quite right, there are analogies here. It's about Jurisdiction, primarily, IMHO.

Dispute of AA and Icahn was domestic, with the USA, and the US Bankruptcy Code ruled the day.

Dispute of AA and laid off Israeli employees of TWA was international in nature, and local employees should (and did) have capitalized on a) local labor law b) connecting honoring commitments arising from that labor law to the route authority. c) (not obligatory, but possible) making connection between TWA assets and AA.
Basically, the way I read it, anyone who touched TWA route authorities to TLV, was on the hook for TWA debts in Israel. Smart strategy, TBH.

Same here. The fact that Irish laws allow whatever, is not a reason for a Netherlands-based employee to ignore Dutch laws, or be rid of their protection. Dutch courts established:
1) that they had jursidiction
2) that Dutch law was relevant
and thus applied the Dutch law.


Thanks for the great response! Given the multitude of countries and jurisdictions (despite the "EU" designation), I'm not surprised that it was anything BUT a jurisdictional matter.
 
DUSZRH
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Re: Court decision: Ryanair cannot close EIN base

Thu Nov 01, 2018 11:43 pm

Delta777Jet wrote:
DUSZRH wrote:
readytotaxi wrote:
The illegal part is the consequences for the employees, which are "transferred" to other bases. In most European countries, you can't just change the place of work, meaning you have to allow for commuting or make a payout to make the person redundant (usually expensive).


But in this case the employees have in their contract that they can be also placed at other locations, the employer wants them to work. That's also pretty standard for many airline and ship crews and its part of their salary. For sure as crew members they cant await to be every evening home. It is not a 9-5 office job somewhere in downtown Eindhoven.

But to be honest, everyone, at least in Europe and especially pilots have many options to find work. So everyone should ask why they still work for Ryanair if it is so bad ? They should just resign then and find a job with KLM or Transavia if they dont like the agreed conditions anymore or are unhappy. Instead they choose to harm the business of their employer and destroy travel plans of thousands of people and then start wonder about the consequences. Makes no sense.


Under Dutch labour law you can't just transfer personell to Poland and pay them Polish wages. There have been highest court rulings against FR that local labour law is applicable. Thus FR will have to pay up (severance pay), if they decide to go through. Even if you're changing to another employer, you would not forgo a couple grants (probably more than a hundred as a pilot).
 
Flaps
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Re: Court decision: Ryanair cannot close EIN base

Fri Nov 02, 2018 12:24 am

A potential solution.
Cancel all flights out of EIN while keeping the base open. Those 16 pilots can then be given the option of:

(A) Remaining based at EIN but getting no work and no pay as there are no flights.
(B) They could choose to commute to another base at their own expense for work while technically remaining EIN based.
(C) Voluntarily relocate to another base with openings.

I don't know how the FR pilot contract is worded but all three of the above should allow FR to skirt the court ruling. It would cost them the revenue of the EIN flying but that might be worth it to them.
 
Jetty
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Re: Court decision: Ryanair cannot close EIN base

Fri Nov 02, 2018 12:43 am

According to the judgement Ryanair CAN close the EIN base, they'll just have to keep paying the pilots and make sure they remain qualified to fly. If they tell any of the pilots in any way they'll have to work from another base they'll forfeit E 250.000,- for each instance (and then still have to pay their salaries afterwards regardless).

readytotaxi wrote:
Ryanair has already stated that they will appeal the verdict, and that they continue with base closure.

Curious not being a lawyer, are you allowed to continue with a course of action after a court has found against you and the appeal has not been heard? Shouldn't things stop until it is decided?

The lower court has the freedom to decide whether it's judgement is subject to immediate enforcement. In most Dutch civil cases a judgement doesn't necessarily have to be carried out but there will be a sum payable to the other party if it isn't. That amount is supposed to be high enough to discourage ignoring the judgement.

Delta777Jet wrote:
How the court can take influence on a business decision a private company made? It is Ryanair's decision if they want to continue the base or not.
Furthermore, it is an Irish business with contracts made in Ireland. I'm also sure they offered the EIN based crews alternatives, such as working in Portugal and on other bases. This is also part of the crew's contract obligation, to be able and willing to work from other bases if necessary.
So if they deny working from other bases, I think Ryanair has a case against the employees and can ask for compensation of damages.

Court rulings take influence on business decisions on a daily basis. The crew's contract obligations are largely void as they are based on Irish law while it's clear they should have been based on Dutch law where Dutch mandatory law is more favorable for the employee.

intrance wrote:
Ryanair claims it is for commercial reasons, but it was announced shortly after strikes by their crew and I believe together with a few other bases where labor disputes had or have been going on. So it's anyone's guess. Could be that the yields are not high enough, or could be that they wanted to make a point.

Hardly, Ryanair's own guess was that it's a consequence of the strike. Their words:

“We are not willing to accept any more unnecessary disruptions to our business and our customers in Eindhoven, and as we explained at our recent meeting, if they continue then we will reorganise the Eindhoven base to serve our Dutch customers on aircraft bases overseas, leading to cuts in the number of bases aircraft and jobs in Eindhoven. We hope you will work with us now to avoid any such outcome. This is not a threat, but will be the inevitable consequence of any further misguided and unnecessary strike actions by our Eindhoven pilots or cabin crew.”

“As we explained at our meeting of 6 Sept and our letter of 14 Sept if repeated disruptions continue in EIN we will be forced to reorganise the EIN base to serve our Dutch customers on aircraft based overseas which may lead to cuts to some or all of based aircraft and jobs in EIN.”
 
bx737
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Re: Court decision: Ryanair cannot close EIN base

Fri Nov 02, 2018 12:50 am

Flaps wrote:
A potential solution.
Cancel all flights out of EIN while keeping the base open. Those 16 pilots can then be given the option of:

(A) Remaining based at EIN but getting no work and no pay as there are no flights.
(B) They could choose to commute to another base at their own expense for work while technically remaining EIN based.
(C) Voluntarily relocate to another base with openings.

I don't know how the FR pilot contract is worded but all three of the above should allow FR to skirt the court ruling. It would cost them the revenue of the EIN flying but that might be worth it to them.


Having extremely little knowledge of Dutch Labour Law and having read the above comments, it would appear to me that some of your proposals are what Ryanair wanted to do, however the Dutch court found it to be illegal and we are now where we are. Regarding cancelling flights, this brings its own problems under EC261, I doubt a court would allow this as exceptional circumstances. My reading of EC261 (regarding strikes) are that the company has to exhaust all reasonable steps to avoid the strike, in this case they have not done so in fact they are causing flights to be cancelled so therefore they are totally on the hook for compensation to passengers. So bearing in mind the finding today and with your proposals each passenger is entitled to compensation (€600 pp) and they are subject to fines of €150,000 per pilot. It will be interesting to see what happens
 
Jetty
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Re: Court decision: Ryanair cannot close EIN base

Fri Nov 02, 2018 12:51 am

Flaps wrote:
A potential solution.
Cancel all flights out of EIN while keeping the base open. Those 16 pilots can then be given the option of:

(A) Remaining based at EIN but getting no work and no pay as there are no flights.
(B) They could choose to commute to another base at their own expense for work while technically remaining EIN based.
(C) Voluntarily relocate to another base with openings.

I don't know how the FR pilot contract is worded but all three of the above should allow FR to skirt the court ruling. It would cost them the revenue of the EIN flying but that might be worth it to them.

Dutch judges aren't stupid, there is no meaningful way in which Ryanair can skirt the ruling. Of these options only C could apply, but not if it's forced in any way. And if the pilots were willing to voluntary relocate they wouldn't have gone to court.
 
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Aesma
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Re: Court decision: Ryanair cannot close EIN base

Fri Nov 02, 2018 5:33 am

At some point Ryanair should face an EU fine for repeating the same illegal actions all over the EU.
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FrancisBegbie
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Re: Court decision: Ryanair cannot close EIN base

Fri Nov 02, 2018 8:27 am

Delta777Jet wrote:

How the court can take influence on a business decision a private company made? It is Ryanair's decision if they want to continue the base or not.
Furthermore, it is an Irish business with contracts made in Ireland. I'm also sure they offered the EIN based crews alternatives, such as working in Portugal and on other bases. This is also part of the crew's contract obligation, to be able and willing to work from other bases if necessary.
So if they deny working from other bases, I think Ryanair has a case against the employees and can ask for compensation of damages.



The court doesn’t tell Ryanair what they can and cannot do. The court just doesn’t give up it authority on Dutch soil because some contracts made under foreign law (just imagine what would happen if the did. All Dutch labour law could go in the trash bin with employers cherry picking labour laws of a country that suits them best).

Ryanair is free to go where they want. They only need to offer appropriate severance packages for pilots not willing to relocate, as stated in Dutch law.

Dutch labour courts have a tendency to support ‘the small man’ against the ‘big bully’, so by playing hardball Ryanair did not exactly set themselves up for success.
 
peterinlisbon
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Re: Court decision: Ryanair cannot close EIN base

Fri Nov 02, 2018 8:37 am

I'd say there must also be a basis for disputing the idea that there was ever any "mutual agreement" to apply Irish labour laws because Ryanair makes this a condition of employment. Therefore it is not mutual, but imposed on employees by the company.
 
SeoulIncheon
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Re: Court decision: Ryanair cannot close EIN base

Fri Nov 02, 2018 8:41 am

I'm not a lawyer in the EU and not very familiar with European law but anyway...some ideas for Ryanair
Is that Ryanair base run by seperate Dutch entity? If so, then Ryanair can just liquidate the Dutch entity altogether, leave nothing behind, and have other branches handle Dutch routes. Otherwise, another idea is that Ryanair sets up a special purpose company (SPC) then carve-out the Eindhoven base to the SPC, then liquidate the SPC. Whether it would work under EU law is a good question to ask.
 
VSMUT
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Re: Court decision: Ryanair cannot close EIN base

Fri Nov 02, 2018 8:59 am

SeoulIncheon wrote:
I'm not a lawyer in the EU and not very familiar with European law but anyway...some ideas for Ryanair
Is that Ryanair base run by seperate Dutch entity? If so, then Ryanair can just liquidate the Dutch entity altogether, leave nothing behind, and have other branches handle Dutch routes. Otherwise, another idea is that Ryanair sets up a special purpose company (SPC) then carve-out the Eindhoven base to the SPC, then liquidate the SPC. Whether it would work under EU law is a good question to ask.


Why on earth would you want to give Ryanair any ideas? That company is the dirt of the industry. They disrespect national laws on a daily basis.
 
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TOGA10
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Re: Court decision: Ryanair cannot close EIN base

Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:00 am

Great news for all FR pilots, hopefully other judges around Europe will follow this ruling. Also, the argument that the base is closing for economical reasons is flawed, as up to 90% of the flights will continue to be flown from other bases, so in reverse.
I'm not the biggest fan of authorities getting involved in these sort of issues, but this time FR crossed the line and the Dutch pilots were fighting for their rights. Good for them and hopefully the public gets an insight on how FR treats their employees.
Also makes me question the Irish labour laws, how can they be that different from Dutch / Belgian laws? Good thing we have the EU..
Love flying, hate the alarm at 3 in the morning, love watching the sun rise at 5:30. It's all about compromises.
 
StTim
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Re: Court decision: Ryanair cannot close EIN base

Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:13 am

Amazing to me how many people on here support screwing over the employees.
 
WPvsMW
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Re: Court decision: Ryanair cannot close EIN base

Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:34 am

Has FR actually appealed adverse decisions to the ECJ? If so, and FR lost, can't the Dutch court cite the ECJ decisions as precedent? At some point (at least under US jurisprudence), such an employer would face punitive damages for its course of conduct.
 
leghorn
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Re: Court decision: Ryanair cannot close EIN base

Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:50 am

Aviation is just too mobile.
look realistically at your likelihood of being a pilot based in Western Europe in the future.
low cost carriers will base their planes in business friendly countries in either eastern Europe or British Isles.
By business friendly I mean laxer labour laws.
A quick shuttle flight from eastern Europe at OMG early departure time in the morning brings your plane in to Western Europe, return to home base in the middle of the day, next shift of pilots and cabin crew start their work and they work through until night.
Add in a good percentage of mobile contracts for pilots that can't be tied down to any particular country other than the one the Company wants. Base a minimum number of planes in countries with stronger labour laws and that is Europe as a market served by the company with minimum interference from Unions.

Pilots can only dream of flying for mainline airlines like Lufthansa, BA, AF or KLM and will instead fly for the other independent Brands which have been created to skirt Labour issues or for LCCs.

These Ryanair pilots in Eindhoven can only regret their actions. They were working from a base which they wanted to be working from and earning good money but were considered by their employer to be too militant to negotiate with. Other Ryanair bases were in dispute with Ryanair but managed to keep their employer at the negotiating table.
What now for these employees? in the short term they can expect no flying hours and likely having to move away from Eindhoven because the jobs that were there aren't there any more.
Union Activists can hoop and holler about the supposed nosebleed they gave Ryanair but the career of these pilots has been thrown in to turmoil.
I spent years rubbing my own employer the wrong way by standing up to them when they showed disrespect to us as employees and my employers were truly horrible people but it did my career little good despite the little victories I enjoyed along the way.
In retrospect I keep coming back to a job interview with another company I fluffed up early in the time that I spent working for this employer and if I hadn't fluffed up that job interview my career would have progressed so much faster beyond their sphere of influence.

A Union might encourage you to agitate against your employer for their own ends and flatter you but the only person who ultimately looks after your own career is you.
 
petertenthije
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Re: Court decision: Ryanair cannot close EIN base

Fri Nov 02, 2018 1:59 pm

DUSZRH wrote:
Under Dutch labour law you can't just transfer personell to Poland and pay them Polish wages.
Bingo.

There is jurisprudence that people can be transferred up to around 45 to 60 minutes commuting time from the original work site. This is usually compensated for by increased travel allowance per KM and/or paid commuting hours. These compensations are then gradually brought back to regular baseline over the course of 2 or 3 years. Should the employee be willing to move closer to work the company is expected to fascilitate this.

It might be worthwhile checking the driving time between EIN and NRN. Although, NRN being in Germany might negate the jurisprudence.
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Aesma
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Re: Court decision: Ryanair cannot close EIN base

Fri Nov 02, 2018 3:43 pm

leghorn wrote:
Aviation is just too mobile.
look realistically at your likelihood of being a pilot based in Western Europe in the future.
low cost carriers will base their planes in business friendly countries in either eastern Europe or British Isles.
By business friendly I mean laxer labour laws.


That's with current rules. The the EU shifting towards populism, maybe some leftism views on top, and no more "ultra-liberal" (European sense of the word) UK to stop things, new rules could impose a percentage of local pilots, like exist in some countries. An EU wide pilot strike might hasten the move.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
Jetty
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Re: Court decision: Ryanair cannot close EIN base

Fri Nov 02, 2018 4:12 pm

leghorn wrote:
These Ryanair pilots in Eindhoven can only regret their actions. They were working from a base which they wanted to be working from and earning good money but were considered by their employer to be too militant to negotiate with. Other Ryanair bases were in dispute with Ryanair but managed to keep their employer at the negotiating table.
What now for these employees? in the short term they can expect no flying hours and likely having to move away from Eindhoven because the jobs that were there aren't there any more.
Union Activists can hoop and holler about the supposed nosebleed they gave Ryanair but the career of these pilots has been thrown in to turmoil.

The union involved is hardly militant: it's the same union as of the KL pilots and that's the EU legacy airline with least strikes last decade, not a coincidence.

The pilots careers are in turmoil indeed, but if Ryanair doesn't reopen their base they'll walk away with a financial compensation that is intended to make Ryanair regret their actions and not the pilots.
 
robsaw
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Re: Court decision: Ryanair cannot close EIN base

Fri Nov 02, 2018 4:14 pm

Delta777Jet wrote:
Probably Ryanair did save too much, not taking the best lawyers for this case.
How that court could come to such business unfriendly conclusions is not understandable.

How the court can take influence on a business decision a private company made? It is Ryanair's decision if they want to continue the base or not.
Furthermore, it is an Irish business with contracts made in Ireland. I'm also sure they offered the EIN based crews alternatives, such as working in Portugal and on other bases. This is also part of the crew's contract obligation, to be able and willing to work from other bases if necessary.
So if they deny working from other bases, I think Ryanair has a case against the employees and can ask for compensation of damages.


The court doesn't make conclusions based upon how unfriendly to business that decision may be but on the law of the jurisdiction in question.

Laws influence business decisions everyday; don't like the law - don't do business subject to that jurisdiction BUT once a business has made the decision to do business subject to a particular jurisdiction they have to live with the consequences.

Your assumptions on the contracts and employees' obligations are speculative and don't address what the company's obligation may be under law when exercising their part of the employment obligation. Unless slavery is made legal again, exacting damages from the employees in these circumstances would be a massive stretch.
 
Jetty
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Re: Court decision: Ryanair cannot close EIN base

Fri Nov 02, 2018 4:47 pm

Ryanair just send a new letter to the pilots involved.
Image

They can fire the pilots but as this will 100% be seen as an unfair dismissal it'll cost them several annual salaries for each employee, thus a couple of million euro's. Can't imagine that makes sense economically but they might want to set some precedent for other bases.
 
Delta777Jet
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Re: Court decision: Ryanair cannot close EIN base

Fri Nov 02, 2018 5:21 pm

But Ryanair appealed the first ruling immediately, which means that there is still a risk that the crew will not get anything if they refuse the offer and the higher court will not decide in their favour.
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Jetty
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Re: Court decision: Ryanair cannot close EIN base

Fri Nov 02, 2018 5:39 pm

Delta777Jet wrote:
But Ryanair appealed the first ruling immediately, which means that there is still a risk that the crew will not get anything if they refuse the offer and the higher court will not decide in their favour.

True, but if you look at the arguments Ryanair doesn't stand a chance. Case in point.

Ryanair wrote to the pilots:

“We are not willing to accept any more unnecessary disruptions to our business and our customers in Eindhoven, and as we explained at our recent meeting, if they continue then we will reorganise the Eindhoven base to serve our Dutch customers on aircraft bases overseas, leading to cuts in the number of bases aircraft and jobs in Eindhoven. We hope you will work with us now to avoid any such outcome. This is not a threat, but will be the inevitable consequence of any further misguided and unnecessary strike actions by our Eindhoven pilots or cabin crew.”

Ryanair shortly afterwards follows through on this threat but at the court-hearing claims this has nothing to do with the strike at all and that their threats should have been taken with a 'grain of salt'. No sane human is going to believe that, let alone a judge.
 
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lightsaber
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Re: Court decision: Ryanair cannot close EIN base

Fri Nov 02, 2018 6:10 pm

Jetty wrote:
Delta777Jet wrote:
But Ryanair appealed the first ruling immediately, which means that there is still a risk that the crew will not get anything if they refuse the offer and the higher court will not decide in their favour.

True, but if you look at the arguments Ryanair doesn't stand a chance. Case in point.

Ryanair wrote to the pilots:

“We are not willing to accept any more unnecessary disruptions to our business and our customers in Eindhoven, and as we explained at our recent meeting, if they continue then we will reorganise the Eindhoven base to serve our Dutch customers on aircraft bases overseas, leading to cuts in the number of bases aircraft and jobs in Eindhoven. We hope you will work with us now to avoid any such outcome. This is not a threat, but will be the inevitable consequence of any further misguided and unnecessary strike actions by our Eindhoven pilots or cabin crew.”

Ryanair shortly afterwards follows through on this threat but at the court-hearing claims this has nothing to do with the strike at all and that their threats should have been taken with a 'grain of salt'. No sane human is going to believe that, let alone a judge.

A public punishment for a union activity must be addressed. Or.. their are no EU labor rights. This is a president setting case.
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dutchflyboi
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Re: Court decision: Ryanair cannot close EIN base

Fri Nov 02, 2018 6:14 pm

Jetty wrote:
Delta777Jet wrote:
But Ryanair appealed the first ruling immediately, which means that there is still a risk that the crew will not get anything if they refuse the offer and the higher court will not decide in their favour.

True, but if you look at the arguments Ryanair doesn't stand a chance. Case in point.

Ryanair wrote to the pilots:

“We are not willing to accept any more unnecessary disruptions to our business and our customers in Eindhoven, and as we explained at our recent meeting, if they continue then we will reorganise the Eindhoven base to serve our Dutch customers on aircraft bases overseas, leading to cuts in the number of bases aircraft and jobs in Eindhoven. We hope you will work with us now to avoid any such outcome. This is not a threat, but will be the inevitable consequence of any further misguided and unnecessary strike actions by our Eindhoven pilots or cabin crew.”

Ryanair shortly afterwards follows through on this threat but at the court-hearing claims this has nothing to do with the strike at all and that their threats should have been taken with a 'grain of salt'. No sane human is going to believe that, let alone a judge.


According to the Dutch Article: https://www.nu.nl/ondernemen/5547452/ry ... redirect=1 ( In Dutch) Ryanair first said that they were going to appeal, but changed their mind and is not appealing. But still going ahead with the closure and is offering everyone a severance package if they do not want to move. This is according to Ryanair in line with the court ruling.... :roll:
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: Court decision: Ryanair cannot close EIN base

Fri Nov 02, 2018 6:20 pm

dutchflyboi wrote:
According to the Dutch Article: https://www.nu.nl/ondernemen/5547452/ry ... redirect=1 ( In Dutch) Ryanair first said that they were going to appeal, but changed their mind and is not appealing. But still going ahead with the closure and is offering everyone a severance package if they do not want to move. This is according to Ryanair in line with the court ruling.... :roll:


A very logical reaction from Ryanair. Their initial response was "Hey, we lost, let's appeal". Later they asked themselves, what are the chances of winning that appeal? Chances turned out to be zero, they would lose that appeal for sure and they knew it. So they changed their mind and decided not to appeal.
 
StTim
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Re: Court decision: Ryanair cannot close EIN base

Fri Nov 02, 2018 6:23 pm

Ryanair do like to push the boundaries. I can see them losing big style on this. The letter is a pure threat especially given the court case outcome.

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