Release #05.050
October 18, 2005

Irish Pilots’ Victory a Win for All Pilots

WASHINGTON, D.C. --- The Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) is hailing a recent decision by Ireland’s High Court as a step forward for all pilots in Europe and beyond. The court has upheld the right of Ryanair pilots, through the Irish Airline Pilots Association (IALPA), to press claims in Labour Court against their airline over terms and conditions of employment.

“On behalf of their fellow pilots in the United States and Canada, I congratulate the IALPA pilots for aggressively defending their rights against the predatory management of Michael O’Leary and Ryanair,” said Capt. Duane Woerth, president of ALPA, which represents 64,000 airline pilots in the U.S. and Canada.

This ruling represents a major step forward in the pilots’ long legal battle with their management, which refuses to negotiate with trade unions. Management has challenged the Labour Court’s authority to hear the pilots’ complaints under the Industrial Relations Act and has vowed to pursue its campaign to deny pilots the right to bargain collectively.

The court’s strongly worded verdict against Ryanair also has IALPA pilots feeling optimistic about another suit against the company, which could expose the airline to claims by pilots of up to €50 million for labor infractions.

“In a day and age when a management like Ryanair’s seeks to exploit every loophole in every regulatory environment,” Woerth continued, “it is heartening to see that the courts in Ireland are ever vigilant in protecting the rights or working men and women.”

ALPA is the U.S. representative to the International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA), to which IALPA also belongs. Learn more about ALPA at

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ALPA CONTACTS: John Mazor, Linda Shotwell, (703) 481-4440,