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Cheap flights must be balanced against workers’ rights – Munster

27 September, 2017 - by Imelda Munster TD


Sinn Féin spokesperson for Transport Imelda Munster TD has today expressed concern at employment and work practices at Ryanair, as the airline announced further flight cancellations for the winter period of November to March.

Ryanair have been cancelling between 40 and 50 flights a day in recent weeks, and the situation is set to continue until March next year. Ryanair claim the situation has arisen due to rostering difficulties. Though the company denies it, the problem appears to have been compounded by an exodus of pilots in recent months.

Deputy Munster said:

“It is no surprise that pilots are leaving in their droves when their rights as workers are not respected by their employer. These are highly skilled professionals, and it’s a bit rich to hear Michael O’Leary, commenting about how easy it is to do the job of a pilot when he earns well over €3million a year from the boardroom.

“Employers who refuse to engage with unions should not be tolerated.  Every worker has a right to union representation and companies who bully employees to discourage them from exercising this right should face sanctions.”

Deputy Munster also expressed concern about recent media reports about the working environment experienced by Ryanair cabin crew.

“Recent reports detailed a working environment where cabin crew receive no base salary and are only paid for flying time. This means that during boarding, staff are working for free. Cabin crew also have to meet selling targets on board, making for a stressful work environment for staff. This type of culture is unacceptable.

“We need to question how access to cheap flights is balanced with how workers in the industry are treated. The current debacle of flight cancellations is the result of a culture of poor workers’ rights at Ryanair. The Transport Minister can’t ignore this issue any longer.” 

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