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2015-07-19

Danish court allows industrial action against Ryanair

Today 1 July 2015, the Danish Labour Court ruled that Ryanair has to engage in collective bargaining with trade unions within five days and that the Flight Personnel Union (FPU), affiliated to the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), can legally enter into an industrial conflict with Ryanair. This means that a primary industrial action can come into force on Monday at midnight and a variety of secondary actions in the airport can be initiated, such as no refueling of airplanes, no baggage loading etc.

As a reminder, Ryanair has announced opening up of a base in March 2015. Therefore, FPU has approached Ryanair with the intent to negotiate a collective agreement for the Copenhagen-based aircrew in line with Danish law and industrial relations practice. Ryanair has flatly refused to enter in such negotiations. The wages and working conditions proposed by Ryanair are far below the Danish standards:

  • basic salary of 10,000 DKR (€ 1,340) before taxes
  • only 11 monthly wages guaranteed
  • aircrew must change the country of employment on very short notice
  • they must pay for their own uniforms and ID-card
  • no sickness benefits

Therefore, Serviceforbundet has formally sent a notice of conflict to Ryanair and simultaneously asked the labour court to decide on the legality of the protest. According to Danish legislation, the principal conflict can be backed up by secondary actions from members of the Danish Confederation of Trade Unions (LO). Seven LO member unions have given first notice of secondary actions on 6 March 2015 (Serviceforbundet, 3F’s Transportation Group, 3F’s Industrial Group, HK / Privat, Danish Metal, Danish Union of Electricians and the Sheet Metal and Pipe Workers). The notices of secondary actions hereby include all the employee groups of LO who in their daily work might be doing tasks for Ryanair.

The ETF warmly welcomed the court decision. Elisabetta Chicca, the ETF Cabin Crew Committee Chair stated: « We congratulate the Danish trade unions who have achieved this victory which is of great importance for the whole European aircrew community. Ryanair will finally be forced to respect the law. » She was seconded by François Ballestero, ETF Civil Aviation Political Secretary, who said: « This judgement together with judgements from other EU countries are paving the way for decent wages and good working conditions for Ryanair workers. Ryanair management should not underestimate the impact of these court decisions. »

For more information, please contact François Ballestero, ETF Civil Aviation Political Secretary, e-mail: , mobile +32 474 916 979.