Michael O’Leary: “A strike in Belgium? Your country is small by Ryanair standards.”
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    Michael O’Leary: “A strike in Belgium? Your country is small by Ryanair standards.”

    © Belga
    Despite body language indicating gloom, Michael O'Leary is confident that cabin staff will not take strike action on September 28th.
    © Belga

    The CEO of the low-cost airline, Ryanair, Michael O’Leary believes that Belgium is “a small country” by the company’s standards. Ryanair is being threatened with cabin staff strike action on September 28th, by the relevant European trade unions. The Irishman asserts in an interview published by La Libre Belgique on Friday, “It is certainly not a good idea to go on strike.”

    Charleroi is perceived as a small airport base for Ryanair. Mr O’Leary says, “We have 8 planes based in Charleroi (editor’s note: 14 in the summer season), I believe, out of the 450 in total. Belgium constitutes less than six percent of our traffic.” He maintains, “We’re coming into the winter period with fewer flights planned, therefore it is certainly not a good idea for our staff to go on strike.” He is convinced that there will be no strike action. The CEO says confidently, “These are threats of strike action, which is a different thing.”

    The company head concedes, “The trade unions are back at Ryanair and we must adapt to this new reality, as we did a few years ago when learning to be less assertive towards our passengers. We are also therefore prepared to consider local contracts for our staff based outside of Ireland, as the trade unions are demanding.”

    Oscar Schneider
    The Brussels Times