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    Unions launch appeal to Ryanair shareholders

    © Belga
    © Belga

    “We are writing to you in an ultimate attempt to find a peaceful solution to the current social conflict’’… Several European unions, among which the CNE, sent Thursday a letter to Ryanair shareholders, so that they might put pressure on the management, since no solution having yet been found to put an end to staff discontent within the low-cost airlines company. “After months of frustrating debate, unsuccessful meetings and even strike action in some countries,” these European unions observe that Ryanair is still reluctant to fully recognize the unions and to sign any labor collective agreement.

    Staff representatives also criticize the airline company management “for still using intimidation as a management tool,” “punishing staff when they are ill,” “sending intimidation letters to workers who use their right to strike action,” “threatening of suppressing jobs in the impacted countries” (that is by this social conflict, ed.), and “holding on to a business model that is considered by all to be obsolete.’’ “In pursuing with this attitude, Ryanair management only proves that it has never been ‘sincere,’ and has never had the intention to engage in negotiations,’’ insist these Belgian, Portuguese, Spanish and Italian unions.

    In the face of the management’s attitude and the lack of trust between parties, the unions launch an appeal to Ryanair shareholders so that “the changes the business model needs’’ be initiated. Furthermore, they underline that other low-cost companies in Europe have a completely different approach, while remaining lucrative, and offering a healthy work environment.

    “We firmly believe that Ryanair is capable of adapting its model to commercial and social realities of today’s Europe, which are founded on dignity, freedom, democracy, equality and rule of law. What we do not believe is that the current management has the staff’s necessary trust, or the capacities to make these changes (…). The decision is yours,’’ conclude the unions for the benefit of the shareholders.

    Ryanair is quoted on the Dublin stock exchange. On 30 June 2018, among the stockholders of the Irish company, were found its emblematic CEO, Michael O’Leary (3.8%), Baillie Gifford (4.8%), HSBC Holdings (4.8%), investment fund Fidelity 5.5%), as well as the management company Capital Research and Management (17%).

    Sarah Johansson
    The Brussels Times