Ryanair’s CEO is in hot water for insulting pilots and refusing to compensate passengers for flights that were affected due to a strike—he says that paying out compensation after the strike takes all power away from the airline in its fight against unions; the pilots’ union says he’s making things worse.
After a strike over the summer by Ryanair staff, the airline’s CEO Michael O’Leary is refusing to pay passengers compensation for flights that were disturbed by the dust-up. More than 100,000 passengers were affected, and the Civil Aviation Authority insists that Ryanair should pay them all the roughly $280 compensation guaranteed by law.
“There’s an enormous can of worms being opened up here by a bunch of lazy regulators at the CAA,” O’Leary told The Times. “If you have to pay compensation every time someone goes on strike, you remove management’s ability to face down the unions. They know you have to roll over. It’d be the only industry where a bunch of layabouts can go on strike and run up a big compensation bill.”
Brian Strutton, the general secretary of Balpa, the pilots’ union, responded to O’Leary’s comments, noting that he’s just making things worse.
“Ryanair’s true colors seem to be showing through once again as O’Leary talks about ‘facing down the unions’ and insults his staff as ‘a bunch of layabouts,’ Strutton said. “I don’t know if he’s goading the unions into more strikes or if he just can’t control what he says, but he’s fueling the industrial unrest in Ryanair every time he speaks about it.”
[Image: Flickr/World Travel & Tourism Council]