Pilot rebellion leaves Ryanair up in the air

 XertaSat, 10 Feb 2018 22:50:21 +0100 
This just made me smile. Union work is not as glamorous as punching Nazis in the face, but just as important. Let's see if O'Leary caves in some more (we can but hope).

USI - Union Solidarity InternationalUSI - Union Solidarity International wrote the following post 2 weeks ago
Pilot rebellion leaves Ryanair up in the air
Pilot rebellion leaves Ryanair up in the air

Just in time for Christmas in 2017, Ryanair – until then a notoriously anti-union company – relented and announced that it was prepared to talk to pilots unions and even recognize them. The company has been hugely successful on the strength of its no frills service (not always as cheap as the promises) and its determination not to recognize unions. It is now the second biggest airline in Europe in terms of passenger numbers — 129 million in 2017 compared to the Lufthansa group’s 130 million – and probably the most profitable. Ryanair made a profit of €1.5bn in 2017 on a revenue of €6.5bn, compared to Lufthansa’s profit in 2016 of $2bn (€1.6bn) on a revenue of $36bn (€29bn).

So what made the Ryanair bosses change their collective mind? The simple answer is that the threat of industrial action by Ryanair’s pilots in Ireland, Britain, Italy, Germany, Spain and Portugal in the run-up to Christmas had its intended effect on management. “Christmas flights are very important to our customers,” according to Ryanair’s chief executive, Michael O’Leary, “and we wish to remove any worry or concern that they may be disrupted by pilot industrial action next week.”

The Financial Times saw O’Leary’s emollient statement as “a capitulation”. For 23 years as Ryanair’s boss, O’Leary had vowed never to recognise unions even gaining some notoriety for crossing a picket line of baggage handlers to help load a plane.  But Ryanair had been the instrument of its own crisis in the weeks running up to O’Leary’s dramatic volte-face. In the last quarter of 2017, the company was forced to cancel more than 20,000 flights apparently as the result of changes to the pilot rostering system.

From the beginning of 2018, a change in the way the annual 900-hour limit on pilot flying time is calculated brought Irish airlines into line with operators throughout the rest of the European Union. Ireland had previously used the year from April to March to calculate flying time. Now they have been obliged to adopt the EU’s practice of basing calculation on a calendar year.

In principle the switchover should have had no significant impact. For one thing, Irish airlines had plenty of warning about the change, and for another it should have been a relatively trivial matter to scale down flying time to fit a notional shorter year running from April to December. The Irish airlines might have had to suffer a financial hit but, considering Ryanair’s profit margin, that could hardly have been a significant issue for the company.

Instead of dealing with something that was essentially an accounting problem, Ryanair’s rostering department responded to the change “by over-allocating annual leave in the final four months of 2017, which meant almost half of the company’s pilots took a month off between September and December compared to 40 percent in a normal year”. At least that’s what Michael O’Leary told Reuters news agency.

The pilots themselves believe that Ryanair’s problems are more complicated than a temporary scheduling difficulty; their colleagues were leaving the company in droves and Ryanair’s flight cancellations and its demand that pilots give up a week of their annual leave merely exacerbated the feeling that the company treated its pilots “like janitors” as one serving captain told Reuters.

Ryanair pilots throughout Europe embarked on a hectic schedule of meetings and Facebook and WhatsApp messaging. Within a week of Ryanair’s initial actions, representatives of twenty of the company’s 87 bases across the continent were demanding new contracts. By December, pilots in Germany, Italy, Ireland and Portugal had threatened or actually called strikes that would have been the first of their kind in the airline’s history. The Italian pilots were still threatening to strike in early February.

“The discontent has always been there,” according to one pilot, “but the cancellations triggered everyone to mobilise.”

With Christmas ten days away and no sign of the pilots stepping back, Ryanair calculated it was facing the loss of 150,000 passengers — representing around €20m of revenue — over the Christmas season if it didn’t act soon.  Ryanair sent letters to pilot unions in its major European markets announcing its readiness to negotiate. “If the best way to [remove the threat of disruption to flights] is to talk to our pilots through a recognised union process,” O’Leary said in a statement, “then we are prepared to do so, and we have written today to these unions inviting them to talks to recognise them and calling on them to cancel the threatened industrial action planned for Christmas week.”

Antonio Piras, the general secretary of FIT-CISL, the Italian transport federation, commented that “Ryanair initially thought it could function by ignoring the rights of its employees but now, faced with reality, it is opening its eyes”

Michael O’Leary has acknowledged that union recognition will mean “significant change” for the company but he is bullish about it. Ryanair has changed its culture before and continued to prosper, he says, while Eddie Wilson, Ryanair’s chief people officer, acknowledged an inevitable “pressure on costs”. But the bosses insist that none of this represents any kind of “climbdown”.  “[With] the size we’ve got to, things probably had to change and we always knew it and it’s now,” Wilson said. Ryanair’s business model “will stay the same”.

It’s almost as though nothing in Ryanair’s world has really changed. Talks are proceeding, but there is unfinished business.

Unions have argued that recognition must extend to all the workers employed by the company, from pilots to cabin crew and from cabin crew to baggage-handlers. Liz Blackshaw of the London-based global union, the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) does believe that Ryanair is changing but, she said, “this change is incomplete without the same recognition being afforded to all categories of workers.”

Perhaps more significant is the question of whether Ryanair will succeed in its attempt to negotiate separately with different national unions, thereby gaining an advantage. On 24 January 2018, a letter from the international pilots’ organization, the European Cockpit Association, signed by 11 trade unions, demanded that Ryanair agrees to a joint meeting with all the unions and commits to introduce permanent direct employment contracts by 1 March in accordance with the local laws of the country where staff are based.

Ryanair refused the idea of meeting the unions collectively saying that such a collective of unions would have no legal standing or licence to negotiate.

But the history of this dispute suggests otherwise. The pilots have taken action across a continent, and that action has undoubtedly been coordinated. If that approach survives, we may be beginning to see a transformation, not just of Ryanair, but of worldwide air transportation.  And who knows where that might end?
More details

Largest airlines in Europe

Ryanair’s Annual Report 2016

Arthur Beesley, “Ryanair backs down in battle over pilot unions”, 15 December 2017, Financial Times.

Conor Humphries, “Three months that shook Ryanair: How cancellations sparked a pilot revolt”, 20 December 2017, Reuters.

Conor Humphries, “European pilot group demands Ryanair meet unions collectively”, 24 January 2018, Reuters.
 Sat, 10 Feb 2018 11:36:15 +0100 
elmussol is now connected with Michael MD

 Tue, 30 Jan 2018 08:53:52 +0100 
elmussol is now connected with Herbert Thielen

 Tue, 30 Jan 2018 08:59:14 +0100 
@Herbert Thielen I also have a connection request for your test account which I am going to discard. Correct?

heroes dropping like flies

 XertaWed, 24 Jan 2018 22:09:48 +0100 last edited: Wed, 24 Jan 2018 22:10:21 +0100  
Yesterday it was Ursula K Le Guin. Today it's Mark E Smith.

So read The Dispossessed or the Earthsea Quartet or The Left Hand of Darkness.

Go listen to anything by The Fall.

Grieve at genius flickering out and rejoice that we can still taste its fruits .

#ursulakleguin #markesmith #themightyfall
 Mon, 05 Feb 2018 23:39:07 +0100 last edited: Mon, 05 Feb 2018 23:59:18 +0100  
So here are a few of the things I've stumbled upon that haven't appeared in the @Anarchism News channel:

From Robert Graham's consistently great Anarchism Weblog: Ursula Le Guin (1929 – 2018).

The Washington Post (meh) obituary: Ursula K. Le Guin, grande dame of science fiction, dies at 88.

The Village Voice appreciation: In Celebration of Ursula Le Guin’s Fantastic Legacy.
 Mon, 05 Feb 2018 23:52:47 +0100 
And more will be coming on MES, but you knew that I suspect ;-)
 Sun, 14 Jan 2018 15:46:29 +0100 
elmussol is now connected with New Here

 Mon, 08 Jan 2018 10:58:37 +0100 
elmussol is now connected with Camron Bickford

 Mon, 01 Jan 2018 09:06:56 +0100 
elmussol is now connected with James D Morgan


more suggestions

 XertaTue, 12 Dec 2017 19:58:42 +0100 last edited: Tue, 06 Feb 2018 07:43:45 +0100  
@TV series point+ Time to pick the collective brain again. 123 go...
Charles Roth MPC
 Tue, 06 Feb 2018 13:38:12 +0100 
Loch Ness
New Tricks
Silent Witness
Waking the Dead
The Falls

Police procedurals, one and all.
 Sun, 11 Feb 2018 14:01:48 +0100 
Started Hinterland last night. "Grim but good" was Ben's verdict.

Mae Shakes

 XertaFri, 22 Sep 2017 19:02:56 +0200 
@Music+ This is not the first time I've shared a bit of rock (&/or roll) oddity, but this odder than most, but as Larry says, she kills it totally. #maewest #ironleg

Iron LegIron Leg wrote the following post 5 months ago
Mae West – Shakin’ All Over
Mae West – Shakin’ All Over


Mae West and Somebody’s Chyldren


Listen/Download – Mae West – Shakin’ All Over

Greetings all.

I hope the new week finds you well.

The summer it at an end, and so we return to a semblance of normalcy – or what passes for it here at Iron Leg – with regular, non-podcast/radio show posts.

The Iron Leg Radio Show will continue on a monthly basis (next show on 10/7, live ta Mixlr.com/Funky16Corners) with the Funky16Corners Radio Show (soul/funk, live every Monday at 8PM) and my show on WFMU’s Give the Drummer Radio, Testify! (freeform, live every Wednesday night at 10PM) both continuing weekly.

This week I confront you with the unlikely spectacle of septuagenarian screen legend Mae West fronting a rock band, and – in one of the unlikeliest results ever – succeeding (at least sporadically).

West, who was a hugely successful, influential and occasionally scandalous star of stage and screen in the 20s, 30s, 40s and beyond was, like everyone else from showbiz past, attempting to catch up to the pop culture explosion and affix her caboose to the rock’n’roll gravy train.

Her attempt, the 1966 Tower LP ‘Way Out West’ is – confounding all expectations – pretty good. West is backed energetically by Somebody’s Chyldren on a variety of cover material, from Bob Dylan, Roy Head, the Beatles and John Lee Hooker among others.

The track I bring you today, her version of Johnny Kidd and the Pirates ‘Shakin’ All Over’ is a killer.

West manages to carry off a lot of this material by virtue of her attitude. This is no mere cash-in. West seems to have actually made a serious attempt to groove on the songs, and the band is excellent.

Whoever selected the material put a lot of thought into what kind of things matched up with West’s persona and delivery.

Naturally, you need to wipe the image of a 72-year-old fronting a rock band, but in the annals of weird celebrity albums, ‘Way Out West’ is near the top for listener satisfaction.

Producer David Mallet also worked with Ian Whitcomb, ironically a young man working in older styles, and produced a few records for Somebody’s Chyldren under a few different names for a few different labels.

I hope you dig the track and I’ll see you next week.





If you dig what we do here or over at Funky16Corners, please consider clicking on the Patreon link and throwing something into the yearly operating budget! Do it and we’ll send you some groovy Funky16Corners Radio Network (and related) stickers!


PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

Image/photo Image/photo

I gotta ding a ding dong my dang a long ling long

 XertaWed, 06 Sep 2017 20:30:50 +0200 
@Music+  In a world of nonsense, words to cherish:

MINISTRY - Jesus Built My Hotrod (RedlineWhiteline Version)
by piperbrigadista on YouTube

h.ear.t | tobias
 Thu, 07 Sep 2017 09:13:40 +0200 
 Mon, 04 Sep 2017 20:12:27 +0200 
elmussol is now connected with It's me

Vindicator Rules
Sat, 09 Sep 2017 11:44:09 +0200 

logical progression

 XertaTue, 15 Aug 2017 21:24:55 +0200 
@Music+ PJ Harvey, Hüsker Dü, Pixies, Stone Roses.
 Tue, 15 Aug 2017 22:36:09 +0200 
Like for the 3 D's
Dislike for Got
Love always
giac hellvecio
 Tue, 15 Aug 2017 22:42:05 +0200 
the dragon feels familiar smells....

 Sun, 30 Jul 2017 10:37:18 +0200 
elmussol is now connected with Sean Tilley

 Sun, 23 Jul 2017 22:45:46 +0200 
elmussol is now connected with Sean Tilley

 Sun, 09 Jul 2017 16:09:29 +0200 
elmussol is now connected with King Emiredmatrix

 Sun, 02 Jul 2017 13:51:13 +0200 
elmussol is now connected with De La Tribu

 Sun, 02 Jul 2017 13:51:08 +0200 
elmussol is now connected with juan santiago


a working hypothesis

 XertaSat, 20 May 2017 21:23:53 +0200 
@Music+  Summer evenings are made for reggae. We have just tested this hypothesis:

54-46 Was My Number - Toots and The Maytals
by sharethevibes on YouTube

Hypothesis is proved in an unscientific way, but to my satisfaction.

 Sat, 20 May 2017 21:25:51 +0200 
Consider this my present to you @Haakon Meland Eriksen (Parlementum) :-)
 Sat, 20 May 2017 21:39:36 +0200 
You start on a part and the power of random takes over. This track was pivotal in me realizing that girl power was a thing.

Althea and Donna - Uptown Top Ranking
by Jocelin Francis Willshaw on YouTube


mashup genius

 XertaSat, 06 May 2017 20:41:08 +0200 last edited: Sun, 07 May 2017 12:44:13 +0200  
@music+ There are degrees of genius. File this under top notch.

Folsom Prison Blues/Pinball Wizard Mashup - Johnny Cash - The Who - Puddles Pity Party
by Puddles Pity Party on YouTube

#thewho #johnnycash #puddles
Mike Macgirvin
 Mon, 08 May 2017 00:00:42 +0200 last edited: Mon, 08 May 2017 00:03:25 +0200  
I still get goosebumps hearing the intro to magic bus after 47 years and thousands of listens.

[edit: never really cared for Tommy. Saw it on Broadway in New York which was a nice evening, but except for a few classic Townshend power chords and the novelty of a rock "opera" I thought it was pretty lackluster.]
giac hellvecio
 Mon, 08 May 2017 00:09:59 +0200 
We miss the guitar forum in the zot planet, but i am the administrator of 2.715.257,666 groups/forum in this planet,
will someone else can create and manage the guitar group?

#NoG20: Let’s Disc-Harrow G20 – RTF Call For Protests

 XertaWed, 03 May 2017 23:25:17 +0200 
This rebel peasant likes this one.

Enough is Enough! wrote the following post 10 months ago

#NoG20: Let’s Disc-Harrow G20 – RTF Call For Protests

We are young peasants, land-searching, reapropriating, cooperating and working in all types of agriculture-related fields around europe. we are determined to create alternatives to the agro-industrial-complex and capitalist globalization. we struggle for practical, local-based solidarity-networks with a conscience of the social and ecological issues related to the imperia of industry and their states. our agrarian fight is a long term and mostly localized one, but resistance for more autonomy and against authorities can also puncutally rise – and travel to express dissent.


Submitted to Enough is Enough

Note: Enough is Enough is not organizing any of these events, we are publishing them for people across the US and Europe to be able to see what is going on.

We will make agricultural topics a content within the upcoming G20-summit-protests in Hamburg and beyond.

We believe that we’ve got to overcome the time of resource-destruction and cultural-war against small-scale-farming – as a matter of survival.
We declare ourselves critics of elite-led politics: good things come from below!

RTF vs. G20

The elites of G20 agreed in meeting in the harbour-city of Hamburg in july, so some of us agreed on meeting there as well, to bring up food- and agriculture-related issues during the protests. Mass-disobedience already seems to take shape with hundreds of thousands expected on demos and blocades of the summit and the harbour during the action days in july.

We call all farming-friends on supporting the protesters practically with food and logistics as only well-fed protesters can stop this summit!

The G20, an alliance of the dominant nation(confederation)s of the world will bring forward more agreements that don’t fit us. they might talk about “migration issues” but only with the aim of containing, seperating and managing peoples lives. They strengthen the freedom of markets and keep restraining the liberties of humans. “green-finances” as another key issue of their mafia-meeting are just another spectacular try in absorbing ecologist themes for capitalist and speculative monopoly-type-development. 

Their understanding of globalisation results in exploitation, forced work- and (peasant-)migration, war, climate-chaos as well as a rising dependance on the capitalist, energy-excessive and extractivist model. it’s big time for a new global riseup towards an ecologist, foodautonomous and anticapitalist future. Our strength stays the everyday struggle in working the land, the forrest and the seas. but we have to raise our voices in concrete jungles sometimes.  

The food- and health-issues remain central to give more independance to the people. small structures still feed the world and fight for local balances as all investigations could show. but agreements coming out of their summits have never significantly arranged the systematic injustice within food-sovereignity-issues on this planet. Their “gam.....