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.


S&P warns it could downgrade Nissan ratings over Ghosn scandal

Updated 46 min 8 sec ago
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S&P warns it could downgrade Nissan ratings over Ghosn scandal

TOKYO: Ratings agency S&P warned Tuesday that Nissan faces a possible debt downgrade after its chairman Carlos Ghosn was arrested for alleged financial misconduct.
S&P Global Ratings announced a “CreditWatch with negative implications” and said it “also placed all of our ratings on Nissan’s overseas subsidiaries on CreditWatch negative.”
It warned the firm’s profitability could “weaken substantially” in fiscal years 2018 and 2019 if Ghosn’s alleged misconduct affected Nissan sales or hurt its alliance with Renault and Mitsubishi Motors.
It said any downgrade “is likely to be by one notch.”
“Although Nissan said it aims to identify its governance issues and hammer out preventive measures, we think rebuilding its management culture swiftly will not be easy.”
Auto titan Ghosn, who headed the automaker alliance, was arrested in Tokyo on Monday on allegations that include systematically under-reporting his income.
His detention marks a stunning fall from grace for the Brazil-born executive who is credited with resurrecting Nissan through bold restructuring measures.
Ghosn has yet to comment on the allegations against him. Nissan’s board is set to meet on Thursday to discuss dismissing him.