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Pilot wins £70,000 after pay dispute

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Pilot wins £70,000 after pay dispute

Old 21st Mar 2008, 18:14
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Pilot wins £70,000 after pay dispute

Pilot wins £70,000 after pay dispute

By FIONA DAVIDSON (The Scotsman)

A PILOT who quit the budget airline Ryanair after being denied pay rises, promotion and expenses he claimed he was due has been awarded nearly £70,000 by an employment tribunal.

David Dillon had been a cadet pilot with Aer Lingus but was made redundant following a downturn in trade after the 9/11 terror attacks in 2001. He was hired by Ryanair from 1 April, 2002, and was later transferred from Dublin to Prestwick.

His starting salary was £15,814, and it was due to increase to £22,000 from 1 April following his first anniversary with the airline.

He was to be paid another increase, taking him to almost £29,000, on 1 April following his third anniversary, along with annual increments.

But Ryanair disputed his starting date and also argued that, as his starting date was 1 April, it meant he would not get his increases until he had clocked up two years' and four years' service respectively, as the first anniversary following 1 April was a year later.

However, Mr Dillon insisted that he was promised when hired that he would not be caught by the 1 April deadline.

David O'Brien, Ryanair's director of flight and ground operations, denied that the airline had failed to promote Mr Dillon, insisting he had chosen not to sign the bond relating to training costs, turning down the opportunity of promotion and a pay rise.

He also insisted no back pay had been due and that Mr Dillon's starting date as a full-time pilot had been 7 August, 2002, not 1 April.

The tribunal concluded the dispute should be resolved in Mr Dillon's favour.

Last night, a spokesman for the airline said: "This is nanny statism gone mad. Ryanair will review this decision and we intend to appeal it."
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Old 21st Mar 2008, 18:17
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I have to ask the 'pro' Ryanair lobby how it is that the company is in Court so much of the time?
 
Old 21st Mar 2008, 20:57
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I wonder has Mr Dillion headed back to the great green mothership ? Sweet

Last edited by doniedarko; 21st Mar 2008 at 21:31.
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Old 22nd Mar 2008, 00:03
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QUOTE
I have to ask the 'pro' Ryanair lobby how it is that the company is in Court so much of the time?

REPLY BYALPHAINDIA
I'm surprised 'Michael' hasn't bought the courtroom too??
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Old 22nd Mar 2008, 18:00
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A quote from the Tribunal (says it all really):
The Tribunal found the claimant to be an entirely straight forward and credible witness whose evidence was unshakeable by skilful cross examination. Likewise the Tribunal formed a favourable impression of Mr. Bellew and accepted his evidence other than his expression of opinion that Mr. O’Brien would be more “humane” in dealing with a personnel issue than he would likely be. The Tribunal found the evidence of Mr. Hughes and Mr. O’Brien to be unreliable where it conflicted with the evidence of the claimant, where it conflicted with what the respondent had in fact done and where it conflicted with documents, correspondence and emails favourable to the claimant’s position. Mr Hughes’ evidence was compromised by his understandable desire to put as favourable a construction as possible on the inconsistent and error ridden documents generated by his department. Mr O’Brien would no doubt wish his management style to be described as incisive. He presented to the Tribunal as dogmatic, unable to conceive that an employee could have a justifiable contractual claim against the respondent if the claim did not arise from a contractual relationship as he believed it should have been.”
It also seems tht Ryanair are going to appeal this.
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Old 22nd Mar 2008, 18:14
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Is Mr Dillion a Captain now in Aer Lingus? That's a huge award, can't see Leo loosening the purse strings.
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Old 23rd Mar 2008, 19:31
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The Tribunal found the evidence of Mr. Hughes and Mr. O’Brien to be unreliable......
The management of this airline seem to have problem with judges, some of whom appear to feel it necessary to describe Ryanair managers using judicial phrases such as "unreliable" and, in another case, as "supercilious" and, in another case, as having given evidence "unworthy of belief" and, in yet another case, as having given evidence which was "false". (For the avoidance of doubt, all the words in bold are from a Tribunal or court finding involving Ryanair) .

I know that the "don't knock Ryanair" brigade are as easily incensed as the "knock Ryanair on any excuse" brigade, but I do think that the fact that Ryanair spends a lot of time in court must be considered to tell us something. In addition, at least in the case of their pilots and cabin crew, this evidence seems to point towards the kind of conclusion which has long been hinted at by posters here on PPRuNe.

While I did my fair bit of such "hinting" in the past I gave up to await developments. The comment above from a Tribunal, as far as I am concerned, is such a "development". And it is a development which points in a particular direction.

Might it now be considered reasonable to at least ask if the associated corporate culture is utterly divorced from the operational culture?
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Old 23rd Mar 2008, 21:37
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Yes, worked for a twit (can't seem to tell i from a these days) like that who was similarly castigated at a hearing - still owes me 12k.
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Old 23rd Mar 2008, 21:44
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beers gibneys

does this mean the moose is eventuallygoing to put his hand in his pocket and buy a beer????? too much time spent in scotland only joking my sweaty friends

good work fella
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Old 24th Mar 2008, 10:50
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Employers in Court

"I have to ask the 'pro' Ryanair lobby how it is that the company is in Court so much of the time?"

In my experience almost all employers (airline or otherwise) have potential situations that could easily end up in court but decide it is more economical in cost (cost of management time, legal fees, etc.) and risk of adverse publicity to settle the matter before it gets there. BA definitely have this mentality.

I don't know the internal policies at FR. Could it be that they have made a policy decision that they will go to court on principle? How many complainants pull out of actions because of their own costs in time and money? Think of their customer complaints procedure - don't bother phoning or trying to speak to anybody, you must put it in writing - how many customers drop complaints because of this?

Also, MO'L has been quoted many times in the past that any publicity is good publicity for Ryan Air.
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Old 24th Mar 2008, 17:22
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I work there. The policy is to fight everything in Court. Whether the company is in the wrong is irrelevant. The idea is to put people off the idea of even trying to fight for their rights. They have to consider the grief, time and possible expense required. Ryanair will fight individuals, governments, EU and aviation regulators in the courts-basically anyone who does not comply with O'Learys game-plan. Ryanair is utterly ruthless.
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Old 24th Mar 2008, 18:15
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And if I might add...
Treats its staff with utter contempt..
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Old 25th Mar 2008, 13:08
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...and to add to minimany's note, regardless of the outcome Ryanair always claim each and every court case a resounding victory.

Old Leo (where are you when we need you to spice things up?) could see the entire management team go to jail and still claim victory for Ryanair. Any interview with MOL usually runs along the same lines - but he tends to wait a month or two before claiming such victories relying on peoples memories to fade.
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Old 26th Mar 2008, 11:49
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Does anyone know anything about an appeal? For example, where would it take place, will the dates be given, will it be open to the public, will reporters be able to attend, etc.
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Old 26th Mar 2008, 12:25
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Ryanair always claim each and every court case a resounding victory.
From what I have seen of RyanAir in court cases this is not the case. If they win then it is a resounding victory for 'common sense', however if they loose we get comments like
"This is nanny statism gone mad. Ryanair will review this decision and we intend to appeal it."
and the great quote following the Advertising Standards ruling on the schoolgirl ad
"This isn't advertising regulation, it is simply censorship. This bunch of unelected self-appointed dimwits are clearly incapable of fairly and impartially ruling on advertising." Peter Sherrard, head of communications for the airline.
It seems to me that the only laws Ryanair are prepared to follow are their own.
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Old 26th Mar 2008, 13:02
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Many years ago Airtours holidays started up with £13.84 airport taxes in addition to the basic holiday price. Flights were on the DA 727's and 1-11's ex MAN. Coffee and biscuits were served saving £5 on catering. Surcharges were nearly always applied at 9.98%....

As the Company grew the level of complaints was high but the prices were far below the competitiors at the time. As customers travelled and competitiors changed pricing policies and the regulations on pricing finally caught up with them the saw the development of air europe and others with hot meals so customers became concious of price.

It has been stated by others that the Ryanair business model needs to change. (Deutsche Bank) .
MOL did great things for the airline in the ways Stelios did for Easyjet. david Crossland did for Airtours and Gerald Ratner did for.....

Time moves on and the consumer at the bottom end of the market will most likely feel the impact of a changing economy. How many weekend breaks will be cut back to save a bob or two to cover increased fuela dn othe domestic bills. This will impact on the whole market but some more than others.

Arrogance is not a bad thing but contempt for paying passengers is another. The loopholes are closing and as the public increasingly tire of the additional charges for everything a gap will open up for someone who has transparent pricing and a fair passenger charter.....My money is on Easyjet. They seem to have the balance between business and leisure clearly defined and perhaps more importantly they serve linked in destinations that are more suitable.

Seeking redress through the courts is fine if it achieves what you desire but ultimately it will backfire. The courts will one day tire of this abuse of process and let their feelings be known. Before that though major investors will know when MOL has run his course and you'll see a new appproach and a touchy feely Ryanair.....
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Old 26th Mar 2008, 14:12
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Congrats to DD on crushing ryr in court. Hopefully it will inspire the hundreds of others wronged by ryr to take action too.

Last edited by CamelhAir; 27th Mar 2008 at 15:58. Reason: TO move majority of post to more suitable thread
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Old 27th Mar 2008, 02:18
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Lexoncd - very rational and sensible. Good analysis: Nice post.
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Old 29th Mar 2008, 14:29
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He was hired by Ryanair from 1 April, 2002
Well, if he can't take a joke................
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Old 29th Mar 2008, 14:50
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All these observations regarding the Ryanair corporate culture seem to miss the obvious - the corporate culture is simply to make money above all else.

Pilots - a necessary evil for providing the "service". If they don't like the terms and conditions, tough, get another job.

Passengers - The revenue generators. There are millions of people prepared to pay thirty quid to fly to an ex-military air base within a 100 miles of an attraction, you don't have to care about a few hundred whingers when there's thousands queuing up behind them.

Publicity - It's all good.

Money - Get it at at every single opportunity.

You know, as a business model you can't touch it. It's only when you try to apply the ususal degrees of compassion, commitment, and investment that employees somewhat irrationally expect from an employer, that the business model comes up short.
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