Ryanair cabin crew raise industrial action threat

Eamon Quinn

This article has been subject to a clarification statement which can be read at the bottom of the article.

Ryanair cabin staff based across Europe are planning a major gathering in Dublin next week and have raised the threat of industrial action this summer.

Unions across Europe are widening their demands on behalf of other employees following the successful action taken by pilots last year that led to a capitulation by chief executive Michael O’Leary.

The two-day meeting starting on Tuesday is organised by the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITWF), which is acting as an umbrella group for unions across Europe.

Spokesman James Bartholomeusz claimed Ryanair has done little since it recognised the right of unions to represent cabin crew last December.

He said that staff would detail plans next week but warned the airline “risks a summer of industrial action”. The summer period is the busiest and when Ryanair earns a major part of its near €1.5bn in annual profit.

“Six months on, there has been little progress from the company. The first of its kind, the summit will bring together cabin crew to ensure that the company keeps to its word,” the ITWF said.

Conditions at Ryanair have been heavily criticised over the last few years, with the range of issues highlighted including poverty pay, draconian disciplinary procedures, unachievable sales targets, and staff having to pay for items that most decent employers provide, it claimed.

Amid a rostering fiasco, pilots last autumn took the airline by surprise and successfully secured union bargaining rights for the first time.

Ryanair shares, which rose almost 3% yesterday, are down by 11.5% from a year ago.

This story was re-edited on Saturday, June 30, 2018, to clarify the statement that "unions across Europe are widening their demands on behalf of other employees" and not "employers" as rendered in the original print and online versions. The Irish Examiner apologises for any misunderstanding created by our original story.

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