A court in the Netherlands banned Ryanair from transferring 16 pilots overseas following the closure of its Dutch base in Eindhoven, saying Thursday that the move appeared to be a reprisal by the budget carrier for strikes by Dutch employees.
The court in Den Bosch ruled that although the pilots’ contracts are based on labor laws in Ryanair’s home country of Ireland, the carrier cannot ignore Dutch regulations.
In a statement, the court said that choosing Irish labor law “does not mean that an employer can deprive employees of the protection offered by Dutch law.”
Ryanair had argued that closing its operations at Eindhoven Airport was a commercial decision, but the court says it appears to be “a sanction for earlier strikes.”
In a written reaction, Ryanair said if the pilots don’t transfer they will be out of a job.
“All pilots and cabin crew have already been offered base transfers, which protects their seniority and earnings, but if any crew members wish to choose redundancies over base transfers then we will respect that choice,” the company said.