Legal battles against exploitation at Ryanair

Related to: Civil Aviation, Ryanair
23 Sep 2017

Ryanair’s low-cost model is built on the exploitation of workers. Over the years these practices have been challenged in the courts, with some great victories for workers and their unions. Here are some of the most important cases.

In 2005, the Labour Court in Charleroi (Belgium) ruled that the dismissal of three Ryanair cabin crew members in 2002 was unlawful. The decision was based on Belgian law, although the cabin crew members had had to sign an Irish contract and their salaries were deposited in a Dublin bank. The Court ruled that the basic principles of the labour law of the employees’ permanent work base should apply.

In 2015, the Danish Labour Court ruled that Danish law applies to Ryanair bases in Denmark and that the company had to engage in collective bargaining with Danish trade unions. In the end, Ryanair closed its base in Denmark altogether.

In 2016, the Norwegian Court of Appeal confirmed that local labour law had to be applied to Ryanair crewmembers based in Norway.

In 2017, the EU Court of Justice and courts in various member states confirmed that aircrew members working from an operational base in a particular EU member state should be covered by local labour legislation and social security.

These legal rulings show that our demands to Ryanair are reasonable. Workers should receive decent treatment according to the national rules of their home base, which brings the right to join and be represented by local unions

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