Ryanair reaches agreement with Irish union in pilots dispute

Pilots in Dublin this month staged their fifth 24-hour walkout of the summer. (Reuters)
Updated 23 August 2018
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Ryanair reaches agreement with Irish union in pilots dispute

DUBLIN: Ryanair reached an agreement with the trade union representing its Irish pilots on Thursday, a breakthrough that sent its shares sharply higher as the budget airline strives to quell staff protests around Europe.

Ryanair passengers have suffered hundreds of flight cancelations this summer because of protests by pilots over slow progress in negotiating collective labor agreements, hurting average fares at Europe’s largest low-cost carrier.

The Irish airline endured its worst one-day strike earlier in August after a walk-out by pilots in five European countries disrupted the plans of an estimated 55,000 people at the height of the summer holiday season.

That included a fifth 24-hour walkout of the summer by around a quarter of its pilots in Ireland that prompted Ryanair to propose fresh talks with the help of a mediator that began last week and ended early on Thursday after a 22-hour session.

“The proposed agreement will now go to ballot, with a recommendation for acceptance from Forsa and its Ryanair pilot representatives,” pilots’ union Forsa said in a statement on Thursday, adding the talks’ mediator asked that neither side makes further comment while the ballot is conducted.

Ryanair said it would take the proposals to its board after the Irish-based pilots had voted on the agreement.

Some of the other trade unions stuck in negotiations around Europe have said they are watching the Irish talks closely.

Ryanair employs more than 4,000 pilots, with around 350 of them based in Ireland. Negotiations in the country have been among the most difficult, the company has said.


Saudi Arabia and UAE launch a new joint cryptocurrency

Updated 20 January 2019
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Saudi Arabia and UAE launch a new joint cryptocurrency

  • The cryptocurrency will be limited to banks during its first stages
  • The program will also help the two countries evaluate the monetary policies of a centralized currency

Saudi Arabia and the UAE have launched a joint cryptocurrency during the first meeting of the Saudi-Emirati Coordination council Saturday in Abu Dhabi, UAE’s national press agency WAM said.

The cryptocurrency will be limited to banks during its first stages, until the governments have a better understanding of how Blockchain technology operates cross-borders.

The currency operates on the use of a “distributed database between the central banks and the participating banks from both sides,” aiming to protect customer interests, set technology standards and assess cybersecurity risks. The new program will also help evaluate the impacts of a central currency on monetary policies.

During the meeting, representatives of Saudi Arabia and the UAE also signed the Joint Supply Chained Security Cooperation program, which tests the two countries abilities to provide vital supplies during times of crisis and national emergencies, as well as share expertise and knowledge in the field.

All 16 members of the executive committee of the council followed up on the execution of the initiatives mentioned in the Strategy of Resolve.

Representatives also set five other initiatives to enhance the cooperation between the two countries, such as facilitating the traffic between ports, improving airports to make it easier for people with disabilities to travel, creating a financial awareness program for children aged 7-18, starting a joint platform to support local SMEs, and the integration of civil aviation markets,

The committee was headed by Mohammad bin Abdullah Al-Gergawi, minister of cabinet of affairs and the future of UAE, and Mohammed bin Mazyad Al-Twaijri, minister of economy and planning in Saudi. The committee will also monitor the implementation of the initiatives.