Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has backed Ryanair pilots and cabin crew in their efforts to be properly represented in negotiations with airline management. Ryanair has, for the first time, agreed to negotiate with trade unions representing pilots and cabin crew. Carthy has encouraged other workers, particularly those in low paid sectors to follow the example of Ryanair staff by organising and joining a trade union.
Matt Carthy said:
“For years Ryanair was proud of its position as one of the most ‘anti-union’ corporations in the world. By organising and remaining united in determination its workers overcame this stance and we now have the welcome decision by Ryanair management to negotiate with the trade unions that protect and represent pilots and cabin crew.
“Negotiation with employers via trade unions is a basic right which Ryanair has deprived its workers of up until now.
“It is unfortunate that it took the threat of strike action at Christmas for Ryanair to consider fairly negotiating with its pilots.
“Ryanair’s announcement that it will recognise cabin crew unions comes after renewed focus on its treatment of lower-paid staff.
“These workers were threatened with disciplinary action if they miss sales targets on scratch cards, while staff on Italian bases were threatened with collective sanctions if any member joined a strike.
“In the European Parliament debate on Ryanair’s flight cancellation crisis I, along with other MEPs, encouraged Ryanair to grant passenger rights to its customers but also workers’ rights to its employees. Ryanair ignored these warnings and continued to operate in a way that left its customers and workers vulnerable.
“Ryanair employees are the ones which keep the airline running. Management arrogance is what led to the most recent crisis.
“I hope that Ryanair will now treat its workers with the dignity and the fair negotiation methods that they deserve. Ryanair’s workers have just and rightful concerns which must be heard.
“Other workers in Ireland and across the world should now heed the lessons from Ryanair. If that company with it’s vehement anti-union position can be beaten so too can others. Workers are the crucial source of a company’s profits. Ryanair crews have reaffirmed that when workers organise and remain united they can secure better conditions and union recognition. I hope many are inspired by the example set by Ryanair’s employees.”