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Do we really want a ‘Ryanair Europe’ – McDonald

26 August, 2009

Speaking in response to Ryanair Chief Michael O’Leary’s comments today in support of the Lisbon Treaty, Sinn Féin Vice President Mary Lou McDonald has said that “voters need to ask themselves, do we really want a Ryanair Europe?”

Ms McDonald said:

“It comes as no surprise that the man behind the low-cost airline should support the Lisbon Treaty.

“The Ryanair business model has been built on the back of low pay, poor working conditions, and hidden costs to the consumer.

“Whatever ones view of this model for running an airline, there is no doubt in my mind that it is not the way to run the European economy.

“Michael O’Leary supports the Lisbon Treaty because it promotes a Ryanair approach the economy, facilitating a race to the bottom in workers wages and conditions.

“Ryanair opposes trade unions and internationally-recognised labour standards. The Lisbon Treaty facilitates the undermining of collective bargaining, established wage agreements and workers’ rights secured over a century of struggle. The Lisbon Treaty’s Protocol on the Internal Market and Competition provides the EU with a strengthened mandate to remove all ‘distortions to competition’. For Michael O’Leary and the right wing politicians who wrote and support the Lisbon Treaty such ‘distortions’ involve decent wages, good working conditions and consumer protections.

“The question we all have to ask ourselves is should we run our countries or indeed the EU like a low-budget airline? Imagine a Ryanair primary school or a Ryanair hospital.

“That’s not the kind of EU Sinn Féin wants to see and I don’t believe it’s the kind of EU that the majority of the electorate want to see either.” ENDS

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