Time is ticking for Ryanair, one of the leading LCCs in Europe. After recognizing trade unions for the first time in its 32-year history, the airline hesitates to agree with its employee demands. Cabin crew across Europe urge Ryanair to adopt national employment laws for all workers, but the carrier wants them to comply with Irish regulations. European unions representing the cabin crew say that the carrier has time until the 3rd of July to come up with a decision. Otherwise, Ryanair could break its own record for massive cancellations, as workers plan massive walkouts.
Threatening to steal Christmas last year, Ryanair cabin crew had issued an ultimatum – strike threats for the 20th of December if the LCC doesn’t recognize trade unions. This was a risk that Michael O‘Leary couldn‘t ignore. After the airline messed up pilot rotas and in turn, had to cancel some 20 000 flights last autumn, another loss at one of the most lucrative times of the year would have threatened to place the business in peril.
For the first time since its establishment, Ryanair has recognized unions, however, is having a hard time acknowledging their authority. On the 24th of April, union representatives from Spain, Portugal, Belgium, and Italy met to discuss the discontent with long-lasting Ryanair employment laws. Since its launch, all Ryanair members are employed by non-standard contracts that operate according to the national legislation of Ireland.
Based on international laws, Ryanair has no right to put all of their staff under Irish jurisdiction. Portuguese Labour Minister Jose Vieira da Silva has made it clear that while most Portuguese crews’ contracts were signed under Irish laws, the EU Treaty of Rome still guarantees worker rights under local legislation.