Pilots wear 'union' logo in defiance of Ryanair bosses


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The Independent Online

Ryanair is facing a campaign of Soviet dissident-style resistance from a group of its pilots in protest at the budget airline’s “draconian” management style.

Some captains and first officers working for the airline have taken to wearing the logo of Ryanair’s banned pilots’ “union” on their uniforms while on duty as a sign of solidarity against what they claim are “bullying practices” of their bosses.

But even their passive protest has now incurred the wrath of Ryanair management, who has warned them that any sign of the Ryanair Pilots Group (RPG) logo while on duty will treated as a disciplinary offence. The RPG claims to have more than 50 per cent of the airline’s pilots and first officers as members but the group has never been recognised by the company. A Ryanair pilot told The Independent that a lot of his colleagues had been wearing the RPG lanyard with their ID pass.

But in a memo from Peter Bellow, Ryanair’s deputy director of flight operations said: “Items of uniform or badges displaying unapproved logos are not permitted while on duty. Breaches of this policy will be dealt with through the Ryanair disciplinary procedures and may result in travel being denied or a no-show being issued.” A no-show is when a pilot fails to turn up for duty. As a result they are not paid and can face disciplinary action.

One pilot said: “Ryanair management seem to be using its dress code in an attempt to make a high-profile example of someone who supports union rights. Ryanair likes to have its ‘public executions’ every now and then – pour encourager les autres [to give example to others].”

Ryanair told The Independent: “Ryanair’s uniform policy has been in place for many years and remains unchanged. We don’t comment on  rumour or speculation.”